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LIBRARY 

THE UNIVERSITY 

OF CALIFORNIA 

SANTA BARBARA 



PRESENTED BY 

MRS. DONALD KELLOGG 



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BARRINGTON. 



BY 

CHAELES LEYEE. 

AUTHOR OF 

"the knight of GWVNNE," 

"fortunes of glencore," 

"sir jasper carew," 

"a day's ride," 

etc. 



WITH 25 ILLUSTRATIONS BY H. K. BROWNE. 



NEW EDITION. 



LONDON : 

CHAPMAN AND HALL, 193, PICCADILLY. 

1872. 



-B3 



TO 

CHARLES DICKENS, Esq. 



My dear Dickens, 

Amongst the thousands who read and re-read youi' 
writings, you ha\ e not one who more warndy admires your 
genius than myself, and to say this, in confidence, to tlie 
world, I dedicate to you tins story. 

Your faithful friend, 

CHARLES LEVER. 

Spezia, Dec. 20, 1862. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAP. PACK 

I. — The FisiiketiIan's Home 1 

II. — A Wet Mokning at Home 9 

III. — Our Next Neighbotjes ] 8 

IV. — Feed Conyees 33 

V. — Dill as a Diplomatist 41 

VI.— The Doctor's Daughter 4G 

VII. — Tom Dill's First Patient 53 

VIII. — Fixe Acquaintances 05 

TX. — A Country Doctor . , , 70 

X. — Being " Bored" 77 

Xr. — A Kote TO BE Answered 84 

XII. — The Answer S'J 

XIII. — A Few Leaves FROM A Elue-Book 97 

XIV. — Barrington's Ford ^07 

XV. — An ExnoRiNG Expedition 117 

XVI.— Coming Home 1-^9 

XVII.— A Shock 13G 

xviii.-CoBiiAM i-;r. 

XIX. — The Hour of Luncheon 157 

XX. — An Interior AT THE Doctor's 101 

XXL— Dark Tidings 172 

XXIT. — ^Leaving Home ....<>. ° • . 17'.* 



VI CONTENTS. 

CHAP. PAGE 

XXIII. — Tun Colonel's Counsels 187 

XXIV.— CoxYERs Makes a ^Morning Call . . . . . 19S 

XXV. — Dublin Revisited 203 

XXVI.— A Veky Sad Good-by 212 

XXV II. — Tjie Convent on the Meuse 219 

XXVIIL— George's Daughter 225 

XXIX.— The Eajirle 234 

XXX. — Under the Linden 242 

XXXI.— FiFiNE AND Polly 24S 

XXXIL— At Home Again 257 

XXXIII.— A Small Dinner-Paety 264 

XXXIV.— A Move in Advance 275 

XXXV.— A Cabinet Council 282 

XXXVL— An Express 289 

XXXVII. — Cross-Examinings 295 

XXXVIIL— General CoNYERS 301 

XXXIX.— Major M'Cormick's Letter 309 

XL.— Interchanged Confessions 321 

XLI. — Stapylton's Visit at " The Home" 32G 

XLII. — A Doctor and his Patient 336 

XLIII. — Cross Purposes 342 

XLIV.— Storms 353 

XLV.— The Old Leaven 36 J 

XLVL— A Happy Meeting 371 

XLVII. — Meet Companionship 37!> 

XLVIII. — Aunt Dorothea 3S."J 

XLIX. — Correspondence SSi) 

L.— The End 40i 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



PAGE 

The Fishekman's Home — Frontispiece . . IIablot K. Browne 

Warm Tea and Cold Deception Ditto . 2'y 

The Accident . Ditto . 28 

Darby peelingly Apologises popv. the Scarcity op Irisii 

Lion Ditto . 37 

Polly Dill Ditto . 50 

The Probleji Ditto . S2 

Tom Dill in his Best Ditto . 93 

The Wager, Ditto . ]0S 

Polly Dill takes Leave of Conyers . . . . Ditto . Ill 

Poaching Ditto . 134 

Tom Dill at his Studies Ditto . 143 

The Major " Departs," but not in " Peace" . . Ditto . 17> 

Master AND Man's Keflection OVER Old Habits . . Ditto . ISD 

A Useful Hand Ditto . 200 

A Lecture Ditto . 221 

The Third Volume Ditto . 227 

Not quite the Sort of Thing (Aunt Dinah thinks) . Ditto . 237 

Miss Dinah in Dishabille Ditto . 2G7 

" Would I do ?" Ditto . 27'S 

Miss Dinah's Indignation Ditto . 301 

The Letter Ditto . 311) 

The Consultation Ditto . 337 

The Major IS all "Attention" Ditto . 352 

]Meet Companions Ditto . 379- 

Welcome to Barrington I . . . , . . Ditto . lOl 



BARRINGTON. 



CHAPTER I. 



THE FISHERMAN S IIOMIi:. 



If there sLould ho, at this day we live in, any oue bold enougli to 
confess that he fished the river Nore, in Ireland, some forty years ago, 
he might assist me by calling to mind a small inn about two miles 
from the confluence of that river with the Barrow, a spot in great 
favour with those who followed the " gentle craft." 

It was a very unpretending hostel, something wherein cottage and 
farm-house were blended, and only recognisable as a place of enter- 
tainment by a tin trout suspended over the doorway, with the modest 
inscription underneath, "Fisherman's Home." Very seldom is it, 
indeed, that hotel pledges ai'e as honestly fulfilled as they were in this 
simple announcement. The house was, in all that quiet comfort and 
unostentatious excellence can make, a veritable Home ! Standing in a 
fine old orchard of pear and damson-trees, it was only approachable 
by a path which led from the high-road, about two miles otf, or by the 
river, whicli wound round the little grassy promontory beneath the 
cottage. On the opposite side of the stream arose cliflfs of considerable 
height, their terraced sides covered with larch and ash, around whose 
stems the holly, the laurel, and arbutus grew in a wild and rich profu- 
sion. A high mountain, rugged with rock and precipice, shut in the 
picture, and gave to the river all the semblance of a narrow lake. 

The Home, as may be imagined, was only resorted to by fishermea, 
and of these not many, for the chosen few who knew the spot, with 



2 BARKINGTON. 

the cburlishncss of true anglers, were strenuously careful to keep tbe 
secret to themselves. But another and stronger cause contributed to 
this seclusion : tbe landlord was a reduced gentleman, who, only 
anxious to add a little to bis narrow fortune, would not have accepted 
a greater prosperity at tbe cost of more publicity, and wbo probably 
only consented to liis occupation on finding bow scrupulously bis 
guests respected bis position. 

Indeed, it was only on leave-talcing, and then far from painfully, 
you were reminded of being in an inn. There was no noise, no 
bustle ; books, magazines, flowers, lay about ; cupboards lay open, 
witb all their cordials free to take. You miglit dine under tbe 
spreading sycamore beside the well, and have your dessert for tbe 
plucking. No obsequious waiter shook his napkin as you passed ; no 
ringleted barmaid crossed your musing steps ; no jingling of bells, 
or discordant cries, or bigh-voiced remonsti'ances disturbed you. Tbe 
hum of tbe summer bee, or tbe flapping plasb of a trout, were about 
tbe onlv sounds in tbe stillness, and all was as peaceful and as calm 
and as dreamy as the most world-weary could have wished it. 

Of those wbo frequented tbe spot, some merely knew that tbe host 
bad seen better days. Others, however, were aware that Peter Bar- 
rington bad once been a man of large fortune, and represented bis 
county in the Irish Parliament. Though not eminent as a politician, 
he was one of tbe great convivial celebrities of a time that boasted of 
Curran. and Avanmore, and Parsons, and a score of others, any one of 
whom, in our own day, would have made a society famous. Barring- 
ton, too, was the almoner of the monks of tbe screw, and *' Peter's 
pence" were immortalized in a song by NedLysaght, of which I once 
possessed, but have lost, a copy. 

One might imagine there could be no difilculty in showing how, in 
that wild period of riotous living and costly rivalry, an Irish gentle- 
man ran tlirough all his property, and left himself penniless. It was, 
indeed, a time of utter recklessness, many seeming possessed of that 
devil-may-care spirit that drives a drowning crew to break open the 
spirit-room and go down in an orgie. But Barrington's fortune was 
so large, and his successes on the turf so considerable, that it 
appeared incredible when bis estates came to tbe hammer, and all bis 
personal property was sold ofl'; so complete bis ruin, that, as he said 
himself, the " only shelter he had was an umbrella, and even that be 
borrowed from Dan Driscoll, tbe sherift"'s officer." 

Of course there were theories in plenty to account for tbe disaster, 
end, as usual, so many knew, many a long day ago, how bard pressed 
he had been for money, and what ruinous interest he was obliged 



BAKRINGTON, 3 

to pay, till at last rumours filtered all down to one channel, aud the 
world agreed that it was all his son's doing, aud that the scamp 
Georce had ruined his father. This son, his only child, had gone out 
to India in a cavalry regiment, and was celebrated all over the East 
for a costly splendour that rivalled the great Grovernment officials. 
Prom every retired or invalided officer who camcj back from Bengal 
\vere heard stories of INIad Barringtou's extravagance : his palace on 
the Hooghly, his racing stud, his elephants, his army of retainers — all 
narratives which, no matter in what spirit retailed, seemed to delight 
old Peter, who, at every fresli story of his son's spendthrift magnifi- 
cence, would be sure to toast his health, with a racy enthusiasm whose 
sincerity was not to be doubted. 

Little wonder need there be if in feeding such extravagance a vast 
estate melted away, and acre followed acre, till all that remained of a 
property that ranked next to the Ormonds was the little cottage over 
whose door the tin trout dangled, and the few roods of land around 
it : sorry remnant of a princely fortune ! 

But Barrington himself had a passion, which, inordinntely in- 
dulged, has brought many to their ruin. He was intensely fond of 
law. It was to him all that gambling is to other men. All that 
gamesters feel of hope and fear, all the intense excitement they de- 
rive from the vacillating fortunes of play, Barrington enjoyed in a 
lawsuit. Every step of the proceeding had for him an immense 
interest. The driest legal documents, musty declarations, demurrers, 
pleadings, replies, affidavits, and counter-affidavits, were his choicest 
reading ; and never did a young lady hurry to her room with the last 
new novel with a stronger anticipation of delight than did Barring- 
ton when carrying away to his little snuggery a roll of parchments 
or rough drafts, whose very iterations and jargon woidd have driven 
most men half crazy. This same snuggery of his was a curiosity, too, 
the walls being all decorated with portraits of legal celebrities, not 
selected with reference to their merit or distinction, but solely from 
their connexion with some suit in which he had been engaged ; and 
thus under the likeness of Chiof Baron 0' Grady might be read, " Bar- 
rington versus Brazier, 1802 ; a juror withdrawn :" Justice Moore's por- 
trait was inscribed, "Argument in Chambers, 1808 ;" and so on, even 
to the portraits of leading counsel, all were marked and dated only 
as they figured in the great campaign — the more than thirty years' 
war — he carried on against Fortune. 

Let not my reader suppose for one moment that this litigious 
taste grew out of a spirit of jarring discontent or distrust. Nothing 
of the kind. Barrington was merely a gambler ; aud with whatever 



4 BAIiraNGTON. 

dissatisfaction the declaration may be met, I am prepared to show 
that gambling, however faulty in itself, is not the vice of cold, selfish, 
and sordid men, but of warm, rash, sometimes over-generous tem- 
peraments. Be it -well remembered that the professional play-man 
is, of all others, the one who has least of a gamester in his heart ; his 
superiority lying in the simple fact that his passions are never en- 
gaged, his interest never stirred. Oh ! beware of yourself in com- 
pany with the polished antagonist, who only smiles when he loses, 
whom nothing adverse ever disturbs, but is calmly serene under the 
most pitiless pelting of luck. To come back : Barrington's passion 
for law was an intense thirst for a certain species of excitement ; a 
verdict was to him the odd trick. Let him, however, but win the 
game, there never was a man so indifferent about the stakes. 

For many a year back he had ceased to follow the great events of 
the world. For the stupendous changes in Europe he cared next to 
notiiing. lie scarcely knew who reigned over this empire or that 
kingiioni. Indill'ercut to art, science, letters, and even society, his 
interest was intense about all that went on in the law courts, and it 
was an interest so catholic, that it took in everything and everybody, 
from the great judge upon the bench to the small taxing-officer who 
nibbled at the bill of costs. 

-Fortunately for him, his sister, a maiden lady of some eighteen or 
twenty years his junior, had imbibed nothing of this passion, and, by 
lier prudent opposition to it, stemmed at least the force of that cur- 
rent which was bearing him to ruin. Miss Dinah Barrington had 
been the great belle of the Irish court — I am ashamed to say how 
lung ago — and though at the period my tale opens there was not 
much to re\ ive the impression, her high nose, and full blue eyes, and 
a mass of wonderfully unchanged brown hair, proclaimed her to be — 
what she was very proud to call herself — a thorough Barrington, a 
strong type of a frank nature, with a bold, resolute will, and a very 
womanly heart beneath it. 

When their reverses of fortune first befel them. Miss Barrington 
wished to emigrate. She thought that in Canada, or some other far- 
away land, their altered condition might be borne less painfully, and 
that they could more easily bend themselves to humble olfices where 
none luit strangers were to look on them; but Barrington clung to 
his country with the tenacity of an old captain to a wreck. He de- 
clared lie could not bring himself to the thought of leaving his bones 
in a siraiige land, but he never confessed what he felt to be the 
strongest tie of all, two unfinished lawsuits, the old record of Bar- 
rington V. Brazier, and a Privy Council case of Barrington and Lot 



BARRINGTOK. 5 

Eaiiimadalm Mobr against the India Company. To have left liis coun- 
try with these still undecided seemed to him — lilce the act of a com- 
mander taking flight on the morning of a general action — an amount 
of cowardice he could not contemplate. JVot that he confided this 
opinion to his sister, though he did so, in the very fullest manner, to liis 
old follower and servant, Darby Cassan. Darby was the last rem- 
nant of a once princely retinue, and in his master's choice of him to 
accompany his fallen fortunes, there was something strangely indica- 
tive of the man. Had Darby been an old butler or a body-servant, 
liad he been a favourite groom, or in some other capacity, one whose 
daily duties had made his a familiar face, and wlicse functions could still 
be available in an humble state, there would have seemed good reason 
ibr the selection ; but Darby was none of these : he had never served 
in hall or pantry ; he had never brushed the cobweb from a bottle, 
or led a nag to the door. Of all human professions his were about 
the last that could address themselves to the cares of a little house- 
hold ; for Darby was reared, bred, and passed fifty odd years of his 
life as an earth-stopper ! 

Ji. very ingenious German writer has attempted to show that the 
sympathies of the humble classes wdth pursuits far above their own 
has always its origin in something of their daily life and habits, just 
as the sacristan of a cathedral comes to be occasionally a tolerable 
art critic from his continual reference to Eubens and Vandyck. Is 
it possible that Darby may have illustrated the theory, and that his 
avocations as earth-stopper may have suggested what he assuredly 
possessed, a perfect passion for law. If a suit was a great game 
to Barrington, to Darby it was a hunt! and though his per- 
sonal experiences never soared beyond Quarter Sessions, he gloried 
in all he saw there of violence and altercation, of vituperative 
langnnge and impassioned abuse. Had he been a rich man, free to 
enjoy his leisure, he would have passed all his days listening to these 
hot discussions. They were to him a sortof intellectual bull-fight, which 
never could be too bloody or too cruel. Have I said enough, therefore, 
to show the secret link which bound the master to the man ? I 
hope so ; and that my reader is proud of a confidence w^th which 
Miss Barrington herself was never entrusted. She believed that 
Darby had been taken into favour from some marvellous ability he 
was supposed to possess, applicable to their new venture as inn- 
keepers. Phrenology would perhaps have pronounced Darby a 
heaven-born host, for his organ of acquisitiveness was grandly de- 
veloped. Amidst that great household, where the thriftless habits of 
the master had descended to the servants, and rendered all reckless 



6 BAEKINGTOX, 

and wasteful alike, Darby had thriven and grown almost rich. "Was 
it that the Irish climate used its influence over him, for in his prac- 
tice to " put by something for a rainy day," his savings had many 
promptings ? As the reputation of having money soon attached to 
him, he was often applied to in tlie hunting-field or at the kennel, 
for small loans, by the young bloods who frequented the Hall, and 
being always repaid three or four fold, he grew to have a very higli 
conception of what banking must be when done on a large scale. 
Besides all this, he quickly learned that no character attracts more 
sympathy, especially amongst the class of young squires and sport- 
ing men, than a certain quaint simplicity, so flattering in its contrast 
to their own consummate acuteness. Now, he was simple to their 
heart's content. He usually spoke of himself as " Poor Darby, God 
help liim !" and, in casting up those wonderful accounts, which he 
kept by notches on a tally-stick, nothing was more amusing than to 
witness liis bewilderment and confusion, the inconceivable blunders 
he would make, even to his own disadvantage, all sure to end at last, 
in tlie heart-spoken confession, tliat it was " clean beyand him," and 
he'd "leave it all to your lionour; pay just what ye plaze, and long 
life to ye !" 

Is it that women have some shrewd perception of character denied 
to men ? Certainly Darby never imposed upon Miss Barrington. 
She read him like a book, and he felt it. The consequence was a very 
cordial dislike, which strengthened with every year of their ac- 
quaintance. 

Though Miss Barrington ever believed tliat tlie notion of keeping 
an inn originated with her brother, it was Darby first conceived tiie 
project, and, indeed, by his own skill and crafty intelligence was it 
carried on ; and while the words, " Peter Barrington," figured in 
very small letters, it is true, over the door to comply with a legal 
necessity, to most of the visitors he was a mere myth. Now, if 
Peter Barrington was very happy to be represented by deputy — or, 
better still, not represented at all — Miss Dinah regarded the matter 
in a very different liglit. Her theory was, that, in accepting the 
humble station to which reverse of fortune brought them, the world 
ouglit to see all the heroism and courage of the sacrifice. She insisted 
on being a foreground figure, just to show them, as she said, " That 
I take nothing upon me. I ain the hostess of a little wayside inn — 
no more !" How little did slie know of her own heart, and how far 
■was she from even suspecting that it was the ci-devant belle making 
one "last throw" for the admiration and homage which once were 
offered her Ireely. 



BAKEINGTON. J 

Sucli were tlie three cliief personages who dwelt under that secluded 
roof, half overgrown with honeysuckle and dog-roses — specimens of 
that wider world without, where jealousies, and distrusts, and petty- 
rivalries are warring; for as in one tiny globule of water are repre- 
sented the elements which make oceans and seas, so is it in the 
moral world; and "the family" is only humanit}^ as the artists say^ 
"reduced." 

For years back Miss Barrington had been plotting to depose Darby. 
With an ingenuity quite feminine, she managed to connect him with 
every chagrin that crossed and every annoyance that befel them. If 
the pig ploughed up the new pens in the garden, it was Darby had 
left the gate open ; it was Ids hand overwound the clock ; and a very 
significant hint show^cd that when the thunder soured the beer, Mr. 
Darby knew more of the matter than he was likely to tell. Against 
such charges as these, iterated and reiterated to satiety, Barrington 
would reply by a smile, or a good-natured excuse, or a mere gesture 
to suggest patience, till his sister, fairly worn out, resolved on another 
line of action. "As she could not banish the rats," to use her own 
words, " she would scuttle the ship." 

To explain her project, I must go back in my story, and state tliat 
her nephew, George Barrington, had sent over to England, some 
fifteen years before, a little girl, whom he called his daughter. She 
was consigned to the care of his banker in London, with directions 
that he should communicate with Mr. Peter Barrington, announce 
the child's safe arrival, and consult with him as to her future destina- 
tion. Now, when the event took place, Barrington was in the very 
crisis of his disasters. Overwhelmed with debts, pursued by creditors^ 
regularly hunted down, he was driven day by day to sign away most 
valuable securities for mere passing considerations, and obliged to 
accept any conditions for daily support. He answered the banker's 
letter, briefly stating his great embarrassment and begging him to 
give the child his protection for a few weeks or so, till some arrange- 
ment of his aflairs might enable him to offer her a home. 

The time, however, glided over, and the hoped-for amendment never 
came — far from it. Writs were out against him, and he was driven 
to seek a refuge in the Isle of Man, at that time the special sanctuary 
of insolvent sinners. Mr. Leonard Gower wrote again, and proposed 
that, if no objection would be made to the plan, the child should be 
sent to a certain convent near Namur, in the Netherlands, where his 
own daughter was then placed for her education. Aunt Dinah would 
have rejected — ay, or would have resented, such a proposal as an 
insult, had the world but gone on better with them. That her grand- 



8 DARRINQTON. 

niece sliould be brought up a Catholic was an outrage on the wliole 
Barrington blood. But calamity had brouglit lier low— very low 
indeed. The child, too, was a heathen — a Hindoo or a Buddhist 
perhaps — for the mother was a native woinnn, reputed, indeed, to be a 
Princess. But who could know tliis ? Who could vouch that George 
was ever married at all, or if such a ceremony were possible? All 
tliese were " attenuating circumstances," and as such she accepteci 
them ; and the measure of her submission was filled up when she re- 
ceived a portrait of the little girl, painted by a native artist. It re- 
presented a dark-skinned, heavy-browed child, with wide, full eyes, 
thick lips, and an expression at once llorid and sullen — not any of the 
traits one likes to associate with infancy — and it was witli a half 
shudder Aunt Dinah closed the miniature, and declared that " the 
sight of the little savage actually frightened her." 

jN^ot so poor Barrington. He professed to see a great resemblance 
to his son. ]t was George all over. To be sure, his eyes were deep 
blue, and his hair a rich brown ; but there was something in tlie 
nose, or perhaps it was the mouth — no, it was the chin — ay, it was 
the chin was George's. It was tlie Barrington chin, and no mistake 
about it. 

At all events, no opposition was made to the banker's project, and 
the little girl was sent off to the convent of the Holy Cross, on the 
banks of the Meusc. Slie was inscribed on the roll as the Princess 
Doondiah, and bore the name till her father's death, when Mr. Gower 
suggested that she should be called by her family name. The letter 
with the proposal, by some accident, was not acknowledged, and the 
writer, taking silence to mean consent, desired the superior to address 
her henceforth as Miss Barrington; the first startling intimation of 
the change being a strangely, quaintly-written note, addressed to her 
grand-aunt, and signed " Josepliine Barrington." It was a cold, 
formal letter — so very ibniial, indeed, as to read like the copy of a 
document — asking for leave to enter upon a novitiate of two years' 
duration, at the expiration of which she would be nineteen years of 
age, and in a position to decide upon taking the veil for lite. The 
permission, very urgently pressed for by Mr. Gower in another 
letter, was accorded, and now we have arrived at that period in which 
but three months only remained of the two years whose closure was 
to decide her fate for ever. 

Barrington had long yearned to see her. It was witli deep aiul 
bitter self- reproach he thought over the cold neglect they had shown 
her. She was all that remained of poor George, his boy — for so he 
.-.•ailed hiin, and so he thought of him — long after the bronzed cheek 



CAUKINOTON. 9 

and the prematurely wliitened hair had tempered his manhood. To 
be sure all the world said, and he knew himself, how it was chiefly- 
through that " boy's" extravagance he came to ruin. But it was over 
now. The event that sobers down reproach to sorrow had come. 
He was dead ! All that arose to memory of him were the traits that 
suggested hopes in his childhood, or gave triumph in his riper years; 
and oh, is it not better thus ? for what hearts would be leit us if we 
were to carry in them the petty rancours and jealousies which once 
filled them, but which, one day, we buried in the cold clay of the 
churchyard. 

Aunt Dinah, moved by reasons long canvassed over in her own 
Tuind, at last began to think of recalling her grand-niece. It was so 
very bold a project that, at first, she could scarcely entertain it. The 
Popery was very dreadful ! Her imagination conjured up the cottage 
converted into a little Baal, with false gods and graven images, and 
holy-water fonts at every turn ; but the doubtful legitimacy was 
worse again. She had a theory that it was by lapses of this kind the 
" blue blood" of old families grew deteriorated, and that tlie downfal 
of many an ancient house was traceable to these corruptions. Far 
better, she deemed it, that the Barringtons should die out for ever 
tlian their line be continued by this base and ignoble grafting. 

There is a conire for every 2^ou)' in this world. It may be a weak 
and an insufiicient one, it is true, but it is a certainty that all our 
projects must come to a debtor or creditor reckoning, and the. very 
best we can do is to strike an honest balance ! 

How Miss Dinah essayed to do tliis we shall learn in tlie next 
chapter and what follows it. 



CHAPTER IT. 



A WET MORNINO AT HOMK. 



If there was anything possessed a more than common terror for 
Barrington, it was a wet day at the cottage ! It was on these dreary 
visitations that his sister took the opportunity of going into " com- 
mittee of supply" — an occasion not merely for the discussion of fiscal 
matters, but for asking the most vexatious questions and demanding 
tlie most unpleasant explanations. 

"We can all, more or less, appreciate the happiness of that right 



19 EAREINGTC:-!. 

honourable gentleman on the Treasury bench, who has to reply to the 
crude and unmeaning inquiries of some aspiring Oppositionist, and 
who wishes to know if her Majesty's Government have demanded an 
indemnity from the King of Dahomey for the consul's family eaten 
bv him at the last court ceremonial ? What compensation is to be 
given to Captain Balrothery for his week's imprisonment at Leghorn, 
in consequence of his having thrown the customs officer and a land- 
ing-waiter into the sea ? Or what mark of her Majesty's favour will 
the noble Lord recommend should be conferred upon Ensign Bigges 
ibr the admirable imitation he gave of the dancing dervishes at 
Benares, and the just ridicule he thus threw upon these degrading 
and heathenish rites ? 

It was to a torture of this order, far more reasonable and pertinent, 
however, that Barrington usually saw himself reduced whenever the 
weatlier was so decidedly unfavourable that egress was impossible- 
Poor fellow, what shallow pretexts would he stammer out for absent- 
ing himself from home — what despicable subterfuges to put off an 
audience. He had forgotten to put down the frame on that melon- 
bed. There was that awning over the boat not taken in. He'd step 
out to tlie stable and give Billy, the pony, a touch of the white oils 
on that swelled hock. He'd see if they had got the young lambs 
under cover. In fact, from his perturbed and agitated manner, you 
would have imagined that rain was one of the rarest incidents of an 
Irish climate, and only the very promptest measures could mitigate 
the calamity. 

"May I ask where are you oft' to in such haste, Peter?" asked 
Miss Dinah one morning, just as Barrington had completed all his 
arrangements for a retreat; far readier to brave the elements than 
the more pitiless pelting that awaited him within doors. 

"I just remembered," said he, mildly, " that I had left two night- 
lines out at the Point, and with this fresh in the river it would be as 
well if I'd step down and see " 

"And see if the river was where it was yesterday," broke she in, 
sneeringly. 

"No, Dinah. But you see that there's this to be remarked about 
night-line^ " 

"That they never catcli any fish!" said she, sternly. "It's no 
weather for you to go tramping about in the wet grass. You made 
fuss enough about your lumbago last week, and I suppose you don't 
want it back again. Besides" — and here her tone grew authoritative 
— " I have got up the books." And with these words she threw on 
the table a number of little greasy-looking volumes, over which poor 



EARRINGTON. H 

Barrmgton's sad glances wandered, pretty much as might a victim's 
over the thumb-screws and the flesli-nippers of the Holy Inquisition 
"I've a slight toucli of a headache this morning, Dinah." 
"It won't be cured by going out ia the rain. Sit down there,"'' 
said she, peremptorily, " and see with your own eyes how nnicii 
longer your means v,"ill enable j^ou to continue these habits of waste 
and extravagance." 

"These what?" said he, perfectly astounded. 

"These habits of waste and extravagance, Peter Barrington. I 
repeat my words." 

Had a venerable divine, being asked on the conclusion of an edify- 
ing discourse, for how much longer it might be liis intention to 
persist in such ribaldries, his astonishment could scarce have been 
greater than Barrington's. 

" Why, sister Dinah, are we not keeping an inn ? Is not this the 
Fisherman's Home?" 

" I should think it is, Peter," said she, witli scorn. " I suspect be 
Snds it so. A very excellent name for it it is !" 

" Must I own that I don't understand you, Dinah ?" 
" Of course you don't. Ton never did all your life. Tou never 
knew you were wet till you were half drowned, and that's what the 
world calls having such an amiable disposition ! Ain't your friends 
nice friends! They are always telling you how generous you are — 
how free-handed — how benevolent. What a heart he has ! Ay, but 
thank Providence there's very little of that charming docility about 
me, is there?" 

"JN'one, Dinah — none," said he, not in the least suspecting to what 
he was bearing testimony. 

She became crimson in a minute, and in a tone of some emotion 
said, " And if there had been, where should you, and where should I 
be to-day ? On the parish, Peter Barrington — on the parish ; for 
it's neither your head or your hands would have saved us from it." 

"You're right, Dinah; you're right there. You never spoke a 
truer word." And his voice trembled as he said it. 

"I didn't mean that, Peter," said she, eagerly ; " but you are too 
confiding — too trustful. Perhaps it takes a woman to detect all the 
little wiles and snares that entangle us in our daily life ?" 
" Perhaps it does," said he, with a deep sigh. 

"At all events you needn't sigh over it, Peter Barrington. It's 
Eot one of those blemishes in human nature that have to be deplored 
80 feelingly. I hope women are as good as men." 

" Fifty thousand times better, in every quality of kindliness and 
getieros'ty." 



12 BA-KRIXaTOX. 

'•llumpb!" said she, tossing her liead impatiently. "We're not 
here for a question in ethics ; it is to the very lowly task of examining 
the house accounts I would invite your attention. Matters cannot 
go on as they do now, if we mean to keep a roof over us." 

"But I have always supposed we were doing pretty well, Dinah. 
Ton know we never promised ourselves to gain a fortune by this 
venture; the very utmost we ever hoped for was to help us along — 
to aid us to make both ends meet at the end of the year. And as 
Darby tells me " 

" Oh, Darby tells you ! AV'hat a reliable authority to quote from ! 
Oh, don't groan so heavily! I forgot myself. I wouldn't for the 
world impeach such iidelity or honesty as his." 

"Be reasonable, sister Dinah — do be reasonable; and if there is 
anything to lay to his charge " 

" You'll hear the case, I suppose," cried she, in a voice high-pitched 
in passion. "Tou'll sit up there, like one of your fiivouritc judges, 
and call on Dinah Barrington against Cassan ; and perhaps wlien the 
cause is concluded we shall reverse our places, and I become the 
defendant! But if this is your intention, brother Barrington, give 
me a little time. I beg I may have a little time." 

Now this was a very favourite request of Miss Barrington's, and 
she usually made it in the tone of a martyr; but truth obliges us to 
own that never was a demand less justifiable. Not a three-decker of 
the Channel fleet was readier for a broadside than herself. She was 
always at quarters, and with a port-fire burning. 

Barrington did not answer this appeal ; he never moved — he scarcely 
appeared to breathe, so guarded was he lest his most unintentional 
gesture should be the subject of comment. 

" When you have recovered from your stupefaction," said she, 
calmly, "will you look over that line of figures, and then give u 
glance at this total ? After that, I will ask you what fortune could 
stand it." 

"This looks formidable indeed," said he, poring over the page 
through his spectacles. 

" It is worse, Peter. It is formidable." 

" After all, Diiudi, this is expenditure. Now for the incomings !" 

" I suspect you'll have to ask your prime minister for them. Per- 
liaps ho may vouchsafe to tell you how many twenty-pound notes have 
gone to America, who it was that consigned a cargo of new potatoes to 
Liverpool, and what amount he invested in yarn at the last fair of 
Graigue ? and when you liave learned these facts, you will know all 
you are ever likely to know of your profits P' I liave no means of 



EABUIIJQTON, 13 

conveying the intense scorn witli wliicli she uttered the last word of 
this speech. 

" And he told me — not a week back — that we were going on 
famously !" 

" "Why wouldn't he ? I'd like to hear what else he could say. 
Pamously, indeed, for him, with a strong balance in the savings-bank, 
and a gold watch — yes, Peter, a gold watch — in his pocket. This is no 
delusion, nor illusion, or whatever you call it, of mine, but a fact — a 
downright fact." 

" He has been toiling hard many a year for it, Dinah, don't forget 
that." 

" I believe you want to drive me mad, Peter. Tou know^ these are 
things that I can't bear, and that's tlie reason you say them. Toil, 
indeed ! I never saw him do anything except sit on a gate at the 
Lock Meadows, with a pipe in his mouth ; and if you asked him what 
he was there for, it was a 'track' he was watching, 'a dog-fox that 
went by every afternoon to the turnip-field.' Yery great toil that 
was !" 

"Tliere wasn't an earth-stopper like him in the three next 
counties ; and if I was to have a pack of fox-hounds to morrow " 

" You'd just be as great a fool as ever you were, and the more sorry 
I am to hear it ; but you're not going to be tempted, Peter Barring- 
ton. It's not foxes we have to think of, but where we're to find 
shelter for ourselves." 

" Do you know of anything we could turn to, more profitable, 
Dinah," asked he, mildly. 

" There's nothing could be much less so, I know that ! You are 
not very observant, Peter, but even to you it must have become ap- 
parent that great changes have come over the world in a few years. 
The persons who formerly indulged their leisure were all men of rank 
and fortune. Who are the people who come over here now to amuse 
themselves ? Staleybridge and Manchester creatures ; with factory 
morals and bagman manners ; treating our house like a commercial 
inn, and actually disputing the bill by asking for items. Yes, Peter, 
I overheard a fellow telling Darby last week that the ' 'ouse was 
dearer than the Halbion 1' " 

" Travellers will do these things, Dinah." 

" And if they do, they shall be shown the door for it, as sure as my 
name is Dinah Barrington." 

" Let us give up the inn altogether, then," said he, with a sudden 
impatience. 

" The very thing I was going to propose, Peter," said she, 
solemnly. 



"What! — how!" cried he, for the acceptance of what only 
escaped him in a moment of anger overwhehned and stunned him. 
" How are we to live, Dinah ?" 

" Better without than with it— there's my answer to that. Let as 
look tlie matter fairly in the face, Peter," said she, with a calm and 
measured utterance. '• This dealing with tlie world ' on honour' must 
ever be a losing game. To screen ourselves from the vulgar neces- 
sities of our condition, we must submit to any terms. So long as our 
intercourse with life gave us none but gentlemen to deal with, we 
escaped well and safely. That race would seem to have thinned oft" 
of late, however, or, what comes to the same, there is such a deluge 
of spurious coin one never knows what is real gold." 

" Ton may be right, Dinah ; you may be right." 

" I know I am right ; the experience has been the growth of some 
years, too. All our efforts to escape the odious contact of these 
people have multiplied our expenses. 'Where one man used to 
suflSce, we keep three. Tou yourself, who felt it no indignity to 
go out a fishing formerly with a chance traveller, have to own with 
what reserve and caution you would accept such companionship 
now." 

" Nay, nay, Dinah, not exactly so far as that " 

" And why not ? Was it not less than a fortnight ago three Bir- 
mingham men crossed the threshold, calling out for ' old Peter — was 
old Peter to the good yet ?' " 

" They were a little elevated with wine, sister, remember that ; 
and, besides, they never knew, never had heard of me in my once 
condition." 

"And are we so changed that they cannot recognise the class we 
pertain to ?" 

" Not/yo?/, Dinah ; certainly not you ; but I frankly own I can put 
up with rudeness and incivility better than a certain showy courtesy 
some vulgar people practise towards me. In the one case I feel I am 
not known, and my secret is safe. In the other, I have to stand out 
as the ruined gentleman, and I am not always sure that I play the 
part as gracefully as I ought." 

" Let us leave emotions, Peter, and descend to the low land of 
arithmetic, by giving up two boatmen, John and Terry " 

" Poor Terry !" sighed he, with a faint, low accent. 

" Oh ! if it be ' poor Terry !' I've done," said she, closing tlie book, 
and throwing it down with a slap that made him start. 

" Nay, dear Dinah ; but if we could manage to let him have some- 
thing — Bay five shillings a week — he'll not need it long ; and the port 



BAEEINGTON", 15 

wine that was doing his rheumatism such good is nearly finished ; 
he'll n)iss it sorely." 

" "Were you giving him Henderson's wine — the '11 vintage r" cried 
she, pale with indignation. 

" Just a bottle or two, Dinah ; only as medicine." 

"As a fiddlestick, Sir. I declare I have no patience "vdth you ; 
there's no excuse for such folly, not to say the ignorance of giving 
these creatures what they never were used to. Did not Doctor Dill 
tell you that tonics, to be efi"ective, must always have some relation to 
the daily habits of the patient ?" 

" Very true, Dinah ; but the discovirse w^as pronounced when I 
saw him putting a bottle of old Madeira in his gig that I had left 
lor Anne M'Cafterty, adding, he'd send her something far more 
strengthening." 

" Eight or wrong I don't care; but this I know, Terry Dogherty 
isn't going to finish ofi" Henderson's port. It is rather too much to 
stand, that we are to be treating beggars to luxuries, when we can't 
say to-morrow where we shall find salt for our potatoes." This was 
a somewhat favourite illustration of Miss Barrington — either imply- 
ing that the commodity was an essential to human life, or the use of 
it an emblem of extreme destitution. 

" I conclude we may dispense with Tom Divett's services," resumed 
she. "We can assuredly get on without a professional rat-catcher." 

" If we should, Dinah, we'll feel the loss ; the rats make sad 
havoc of the spawn, and destroy quantities of the young fish 
besides." 

" His two ugly terriers eat just as many chickens, and never leave 
us an egg in the place. And now for Mr. Darby " 

" Tou surely don't think of parting with Darby, sister Dinah ?" 

" He shall lead the way," replied she, in a firm and peremptory 
voice ; " the very first of the batch ! And it will doubtless be a 
great comfort to you to know that you need not distress yourself 
about any provision for his declining years. It is a care that he has 
attended to on his own part. He'll go back to a very well-feathered 
nest, I promise you." 

Barrington sighed heavily, for he had a secret sorrow on that 
score. He knew, though his sister did not, that he had from year to 
year been borrowing every pound of Darby's savings to pay the costs 
of law charges, always hoping and looking for the time when a 
i^erdict in his favour would enable him to restore the money twice 
told. With a very dreary sigh, then, did he here allude " to the 
well-feathered nest" of one he had left bare and destitute. He 



10 PARKIN QTON. 

cleared his throat and made an effort to avow tlie whole matter; but 
his courage failed him, and he sat mournfully shaking his head, partly 
in sorrow, partly in shame. His sister noticed none of these signs ; 
she was rapidly enumerating all the reductions that could be made — 
all the dependencies cut off; tliere were the boats, which constantly 
required repairs ; the nets, eternally being renewed— all to be dis- 
carded ; the island, a very pretty little object in the middle of the 
river, need no longer be rented. " Indeed," said she, " I don't 
know why we took it, except it was to give those memorable pic-nics 
you used to have there." 

" How pleasant they were, Dinah ; how delightful," said he, totally 
overlooking the spirit of her remark. 

" Oh, they were charming, and your own popularity was bound- 
less ; but I'd have you to bear in mind, brother Peter, that popu- 
laritv is no more a poor man's luxury than champagne. It is a very 
costly indulgence, and can rarely be had ' on credit.' " 

Miss Barrington had pared down retrenchment to the very quick. 
She had shown that they could live not only without boatmen, rat- 
catchers, gardener, and man-servant, but that, as they were to give up 
their daily newspaper, they could dispense with a full ration of caudle- 
light ; and yet, with all these reductions, she declared that there was 
still another encumbrance to be pruned away, and she proudly asked 
her brother if he could guess what it was ? 

Now Barrington felt that he could not live without a certain 
allowance of food, nor would it be convenient, or even decent, to dis- 
pense with raiment ; so he began, as a last resource, to conjecture 
that his sister was darkly hinting at something which might be a 
substitute for a home, and save house rent, and he half testily ex- 
claimed : •' I suppose we're to have a roof over us, Dinah !" 

" Yes," said slie, dryly, " I never proposed we should go and live 
in the woods. AVhat I meant had a reference to Josephine " 

Barrington's cheek flushed deeply in an instant, and, with a voice 
trembling with emotion, he said : 

" If you mean, Dinah, that I'm to cut off that miserable pittance 

— that forty pounds a year — I give to poor George's girl " He 

stopped, for he saw that in his sister's face which might have appalled 
a bolder heart than his own, for while her eyes flashed fire, her thin 
lips trembled witli passion; and so, in a very faltering humility, he 
added : " But you never meant that, sister Dinah. You would be 
the very last in the world to do it." 

" Then why impute it to me ; answer me that !" said she, crossing 
lier hands bcliind her back, and staring haughtily at him. 



BAimiNGTON. 17 

" Just because I'm clean at my wits' end — just because I neither 
understand one word I hear, or wliat I say in reply. If you'll just 
tell me what it is you propose, I'll do my best, with God's blessing, 
to follow you; but don't ask me for advice, Dinah, and don't fly out 
because I'm not as quick witted and as clever as yourself I" 

There was something almost so abject in his misery, that she seemed 
touched by it, and, in a voice of a very calm aud kindly meaning, she 
said : 

" I have been thinking a great deal over that letter of Josephine's ; 
she says she wants our consent to take the veil as a nun ; that by 
the rules of the order, when her novitiate is concluded, she must go 
into the world for at least some months — a time meant to test her faith- 
fulness to her vows, and the tranquillity with which she can renounce 
for ever all tlie joys and attractions of life. We, it is true, have no 
means of surrounding her with such temptations ; but we might try 
and supply their place by some less brilliant, but not less attractive 
ones. We might ofi'er her, what we ought to have ofl'ered her years 
ago, a home ! What do you say to this, Peter ?" 

"That I love you for it, sister Dinah, with all my heart," said he, 
kissing her on each cheek ; " that it makes me happier than I knew I 
ever was to be again." 

" Of course, to bring Josephine here, this must not be an inu, 
Peter." 

" Certainly not, Dinah — certainly not. But I can think of nothiuir 
but the joy of seeing her — poor George's child ! Howl have yearned 
to know if she was like him — if she had any of his ways — any traits 
of that quaint, dry humour he had — and, above all, of that disposition 
that made him so loved by every one." 

" And cheated by every one, too, brother Peter ; don't forget 
that!" 

" AVho wants to think of it now ?" said he, sorrowfully. 

" I never reject a thought because it has unpleasant associations. It 
would be but a sorry asylum which, only admitted the well-to-do aud 
the happy." 

" How are we to get the dear child here, Dinah ? Let us consuler 
the matter. It is a long journey oft"." 

"I have thought of that, too," said she, senteutiously ; " but not 
made up my mind." 

"Let us ask M'Cormick about it, Dinali ; he's coming up this 
evening to play his Saturday niglit's rubber witii Dill. He J< no us 
tne Continent ell." 

"There will be ano 'ler saving tl)at I didn't i-cmcmbci-, P.'li>r. The 

c 



18 BAEEINGTON. 

v.-eek/y bottle of whisky and the candles, not to speak of the four or 
five shillings 3'our pleasant companions invariably carry auay wita 
them ; all may be very advantageously dispensed with." 

"AYben Josephine's here I'll not miss it," said be, good bumou redly. 
Then suddenly remembering that bis sister might not deem tue 
speech a gracious one to herself, be was about to add something, but 
she was goue. 



CHAPTEll III. 



O'JIi NEXT NEIGHBOURS. 



Should there be amongst my readers any one whose fortune it 
has been in life only to associate with the amiable, the interesting, 
and the agreeable, all whose experiences of mankind are rose-tinted, 
to him I would say, Skip over two people I am now about to intro- 
duce, and talvc up my story at some later stage, for I desire to be 
truthful, and, as is the misfortune of people in my situation, I may 
be very disagreeable. 

After all, I may have made more excuses than were needful. The 
persons 1 would present are in that large category, the common- 
place, and only as uninviting and as tiresome as we may any day 
meet in a second-class 011 the railroad, nourish, therefore, penny 
trumpets, and announce Major M'Cormick. The Major, so confi- 
dently referred to by Barrington in our last chapter as a high 
authority on matters continental, was a very shattered remnant of 
the unhappy Walchereu expedition. He was a small, mean-looking, 
narrow-faced man, with a thin, bald bead, and red wbiskez'S. He 
walked very lame from au injury to his hip ; " his wound," he called 
it, though his candour did not explain that it was incurred by being 
thrown down a hatchway by a brother ollicer in a drunken brawl. In 
character he was a saving, penurious creature, without one single 
isympathy outside his own immediate interests. AVhen some sixteen 
or eighteen years before the Barringtons had settled in the neigh- 
bourhood, the Major begun to entertain thoughts of matrimony. Old 
soldieis are rather given to consider marriage as an institution 
especially intended to solace age and console rheumatism, and so 
M'Cormick debated with himself whether he had not arrived at the 
Buitable time for this indulgence, and also whether Miss Dinah 



BAltRINGTON. 19 

Barrington uas not the iudividual destined to sluu-e his lot aud 
season his gruel. 

But a i'e\x years back and his ambition would as soon have aspired 
to an arch-duchess as to the sister of Barrington, of Barrington 
Hall, whose realms of social distinction separated them ; but now, 
fallen from their high estate, forgotten by the world, and poor, they 
had come down — at least, ho thought so — to a, level in which there 
would be no presumption in his pretensions. Indeed, I half suspect 
that he thought there was something very high-minded and generous 
in his intentions w^ith regard to them. At all events, there was a 
struggle of some sort in his mind which went on from year to year 
undecided. Now, there are men — for the most part old bachelors — 
to whom an unfinished project is a positive luxury, who lil^e to add, 
day by day, a few threads to the web of fate, but no more. To the 
Major it was quite enough that "some fine day or other" — so he 
phrased it — he'd make his offer, just as he thought how, in the same 
propitious weather, he'd put a new roof on his cottage, and fill up that 
quarry-hole near his gate, into which he had narrowly escaped 
tumbling some hall-dozen times. But, thanks to his caution and pro- 
crastination, the roof, and the project, and the quarry-hole were 
exactly, or very }iearly, in the same state they had been eighteen 
years before. 

Humour said — as rumour will always say whatever has a tinge of 
ill nature in it — that Miss Barrington would have accepted him ; 
vulgar report declared that she would "jump at the offer." "Whether 
this be or not the appropriate way of receiving a matrimonial pro- 
posal, the lady was not called on to display her activity. He never 
told his love. 

It is very liard to forgive that secretar}^ home or foreign, who in 
the day of his power aud patronage could, but did not, make us easy 
for life with this mission or that commissionership. It is not easy to 
believe that our uncle the bishop could not, without any undue 
strain upon his conscience, have made us something, albeit a clerical 
error, in his diocese, but infinitely more dilTicvdt is it to pardon liim 
who, having suggested dreams of wedded happiness, still stands 
hesitating, doubting, aud canvassing— a timid bather, who shivers on 
the beach, and then puts on his clothes again. 

It took a long time — it always does in such cases — ere Miss Bar- 
rington came to read this man aright. Indeed, the light of her own 
hopes had dazzled her, and she never saw him clearly till they were 
extinguished ; but when the knowledge did come, it came trebled 
with conipound interest, and she saw him in all that displayed his 

c2 



20 BAUIUNOrOX. 

luitiorablc sellL^liness ; and although lier b)'other, who found it hard 
to believe any one bad who had not been tried ibr a capital felony, 
■would explain away many a meanness by saying, " It is just liis way 
— a ^Yay, and no more !" she spoke out fearlessly, if not very dis- 
creetly, and declared she detested him. Of course she averred it was 
his manners, his want of breeding, and his familiarity that displeased 
lier. He might be an excellent creature — perhaps he was — that was 
nothing to her ; all his moral qualities might have an interest for his 
friends, she was a mere acquaintance, and was only concerned for 
what related to his bearing in society. Then AValcheren was posi- 
tively odious to her. Some little solace slie felt at the thought that 
the expedition was a failure and inglorious ; but when she listened to 
the iiitieth time-told tale of fever and ague, she would sigh, not for 
those who suilered, but over the one that escaped. It is a great 
blessing to men of uneventful lives and scant imagination when there 
is any one incidejit to which memory can refer unceasingly. Like 
some bold headland last seen at sea, it lives in the mind throughout 
the voyage. Such was this ill-starred expedition to the Major. It 
dignified his existence to himself, though his memory never soared 
above the most ordinary details and vulgar incidents. Thus he would 
maunder on for hours, telling how the ships sailed and parted com- 
pany, and joined again ; how the old Brennus mistook a signal and 
put back to Hull, and how the Sarah Reeves, his own transport, was 
sent after her. Then he grew picturesque about Elushing, as first 
seen through the dull fogs of the Scheldt, with village spires peeping 
through the heavy vapour, and the strange Dutch language, with its 
queer names for the vegetables and fruit brought by the boats along- 
side. 

"You won't believe me. Miss Dinah, but, as I sit here, the peaches 
was like little melons, and the cherries as big as walnuts." 

" 'i'hey made cherry-bounce out of them, I hope, Sir," said she, with 
a scornful smile. 

" l\o, indeed, ma'am," replied he, dull to the sarcasm, " they ate 
theiH in a kind of saiice with roast-pig, and mighty good too !" 

lint enough of the Major; and now a word, and only a word, for 
his companion, already alluded to by Barrington. Doctor Dill had 
been a poor " Dispensary Doctor" for some thirty years, w ith a small 
practice, and two or three grand patrons at some miles ofli", who em- 
ployed him for the servants, or for the children in " mild cases," and 
Avho even extended to him a sort of contemptuous courtesy that 
serves to make a proud man a bear, and an humble man a sycophant. 

Dill was the reverse of proud, and took to the other line with much 



E.vniiTNaTON. 21 

kindliness. To have watched liim in his daily round you would Iiavo 
said that he liked heing^ trampled on, and actually enjoyed hein'f 
crushed. He smiled so blandly, and looked so sweetly under it all, 
as though it was a, kind of moral shampooing, from which he would 
come out all the fresher and more vigorous. 

The world is certainly generous in its dealings with these tempera- 
ments ; it indulges them to the top of their hearts, and gives tiiem 
humiliations to their heart's content. Rumour — the same wiclced 
goddess who libelled Miss Barringtou — hinted that the Doctor was 
not, within his own walls and under his own roof, the suffering angel 
the world saw him, and that he occasionally did a little trampling 
there on his own account. However, Mrs. Dill never complained; 
and though the children wore a tremulous terror and submissiveness 
in their looks, they were only suitable family traitfi, which all re- 
dounded to their credit, and made them " so like the Doctor." 

Such were the two worthies who slowly floated along on the current 
of the river of a calm summei"'s evening, to visit the Barringtons. As 
usual, the talk was of their host. They discussed his character, and 
his habits, and his debts, and the difficulty he had in raising that little 
loan ; and in close juxtaposition with this fact, as though pinned on 
the back of it, his sister's overweening pride and pretension. It had 
been the Major's threat for years that he'd " take her down a peg 
one of these days." But either he was mercifully unwilling to per- 
form the act, or that the suitable hour for it had not come ; but there 
she remained, and there he left her, not taken down one inch, but 
loftier and haughtier than ever. As the boat rounded the point 
from which the cottage was visible through the trees and some of 
the outhouses could be descried, they reverted to the ruinous state 
everytliing was falling into. " Straw is cheap enough, anyliow," said 
the Major. " He might put a new thatch on that cow-house, and 
I'm sure a brush of paint Avouldn't ruin any one." Oli, my dear 
reader! have you not often heard — I know that I have — such com- 
ments as these, such reflections on the indolence or indiff"erence 
which only needed so very little to reform, done, too, without trouble 
or difficulty, habits that could be corrected, evil ways reformed, and 
ruinous tendencies arrested, all as it were by a " brush of paint," or 
something just as uncostly ? 

" Thore doesn't seem to be much doing here. Dill," said M'Cormick, 
as they landed. " All the boats are drawn up ashore. And faith ! I 
don't wonder, that old woman is enoujrh to frij^hten th.e fish out of the 
river." 

"Strangers do not always like that sort of thing," modestly re- 



EARRIKOTO:'. 



marked the Doctor — the "always" being peculiarly marked for em- 
phasis. " Some will say, an inn should be an inn." 

" That's my view of it. What I say is this : I want ray bit of fish, 
and my beefsteak, and my pint of wine, and I don't want to know 
that the landlord's grandfather entertained the king, or tliat his :umt 
was a lady-in-waiting. 'Be as high as you like,' says I, 'but don't 
make the bill so' — eh, Dill !" And he cackled the harsh uugenial 
laugh which seems the birthright of all sorry jesters; and the 
Doctor gave a little laugh too, more from habit, however, tlian 
enjoyment. 

" Do you know, Dill," said the Major, disengaging himself frotu 
the arm which his lameness compelled him to lean on, and standing 
still in the pathway — " do you know that I never i-each thus f;ir with- 
out having a sort of struggle with myself whether I won't tarn back 
and go home again. Can you explain that, now ?" 

" It is the wound, perhaps, pains you, coming up tlse liill." 

" It is not the wound. It's that womau !" 

" Miss Barrington ?" 

" Just so. I have her before me now, sitting up behind the urn, 
there, and saying, ' Have you had tea. Major M'Cormiclc ?' when she 
knows well she didn't give it to me. Don't you feel that going up to 
the table for your cup is for all tlie world like doing homage ?" 

" Her manners are cold — certainly cold." 

"I wish they were. It's the fire that's in her I'm afraid of! She 
has as wicked an eye in her head as ever I saw." 

" She was greatly admired once, I'm told ; and she lias many 
remains of beauty." 

" Oh ! for the matter of looks, there's worse. It's her nature, her 
temper — herself, in fiict, I can't endure." 

"Wliat is it you can't endure, M'Cormiclc ?" cried Barrington, 
emerging from a side walk where he had just cauglit tlie last words. 
" If it be anything in this poor place of mine, let me hear, that I may 
have it amended." 

" How are ye — how are ye ?" said the Major, with a very confused 
manner, " I was talking politics with Dill. I was telling liim how 
I hated tliem Tories." 

"I believe they are all pretty much alike," said Barrington; "at 
least, I knew they were in my day. And though we used to abuse 
him, and drink all kind of m.isfortunes to him every day of our lives, 
there wasn't a truer gentleman, nor a finer fellow in Ireland, than 
Lord Castlereagh." 




W/ 



/ A^ 



'4^ • //- 



BATIIIINQTOK. 23 

" T'tn vnvc of it. I've offcen heard the same remark," chimed in Dill, 

" It's a pity you didn't think so at the time of the Union," said 
M'Cormick, -with a sneer. 

" Many of us did ; but it would not make us sell oui' country. But 
what need is there going back to those times, and things that can't 
be helped now ? Come in and have a cup of tea. I see my sister is 
vraiting for us." 

Why was it that Miss Barrington, on that evening, was grander 
and statelier than ever? Was it some anticipation of the meditated 
change in their station had impressed her manner with more of pride ? 
I know not ; but true it is she received her visitors with a reserve that 
was actually chilling. To no end did Barrington exert himself to con- 
ceal or counteract this frigidity. In all our moral chemistry we have 
never yet hit upon an antidote to a chilling reception. 

Tlie Doctor was used to this freezing process, and did not suffer like 
his companion. To him, life was a huge ice-pail ; but he defied frost- 
bite, and bore it. The Major, however, chafed and fidgeted under 
the treatment, and muttered to himself very vengeful sentiments 
about that peg he had determined to take her down from. 

" I was hoping to be able to offer you a nosegay, dear lady," said 
Dill — tliis was his customary mode of address to her, an ingenious 
blending of affection with deference, but in which the stronger accent 
on the last word showed the deference to predominate — " but the 
rain has come so late, there's not a stock in the garden St to present 
to you." 

" It is just as v,'ell. Sir. I detest gillyflowers." 

The Major's eyes sparkled with a spiteful delight, for he was sorely 
jealous of the Doctor's ease under difficulties. 

" We have, indeed, a few moss-roses." 

" None to be compared to our own. Sir. Do not think of it." 

The Major felt that his was not a giving disposition, and conse- 
quently it exempted him from rubs and rebuffs of this sort. Mean- 
while, unabashed by failure, the Doctor essayed once more: "Mrs. 
Dill is only waiting to have the car mended, to come over and pay 
her dutiful respects to you, Miss Dinali." 

" Pray tell her not to mind it. Doctor Dill," replied she, sharply, 
" or to wait till the fourth of next month, which will make it exactly 
a year since her last visit, and her call can be then an annual one, 
like the tax-gatherer's." 

" Bother them for taxes altogether," chimed in Barrington, whoso 
esr only caught the last word. " You haven't done with the county 



24 B.VKRTNGTOX. 

cess when there's a fellow at you for tithes ; and they're talking of a 
poor-rate." 

" Tou may perceive, Doctor Dill, that your medicines have not 
achieved a great success against my brother's deafness." 

" "\Ve were all so at AValcheren," broke in M'Cormieh ; "when 
we'd come out of the trenches we couldn't hear for hours." 

"My voice may be a shrill one, Major M'Cormick, but I'll have 
you to believe that it has not destroyed my brother's tympanum." 

'• It's not the tympanum is engaged, dear lady ; it's the Eustachean 
tube is the cause here. There's a passage leads down from the in- 
ternal ear " 

" I declare, Sir, I have just as little taste for anatomy as for forti- 
fication ; and though I sincerely wish you could cure my brother, as 
I also wish these gentlemen could have taken "Walcheren, I have 
not the slightest desire to know how." 

" I'll beg a little more tea in this, Ma'am," said the Major, holding 
out his cup. 

" Do you mean water, Sir ? Did you say it was too strong?" 

" With your leave, I'll take it a trifle stronger," said he, with a 
malicious twinkle in his eye, for he knew all the offence his speech 
iin])lied. 

'• I'm glad to hear you say so. Major M'Cormick. I'm happy to 
know that your nerves are stronger than at the time of that expe- 
dition you quote with such pleasure. Is yours to your liking. Sir ?" 

" I'll ask for some water, dear lady," broke in Dill, who began 
to think that the fire was hotter than usual. "As I said to Mrs. 
Dill, ' ]\[olly,' says I, ' how is it that I never drink such tea any- 
where as at the ' " He stopped, for he was going to say, the 

Barringtons, and he trembled at the liberty ; and he dared not 
say the Fisherman's Home, lest it should be thought he was recal- 
ling their occupation ; and go, after a pause, and a cough, he stam- 
mered out — " ' at the sweet cottage.' " Nor was his confusion the 
less at perceiving how she had appreciated his difficulty, and was 
smiling at it. 

" Very few strangers in these parts lately, I believe," said M'Cor- 
mick, who knew that his remark was a dangerous one. 

" I fancy none, Sir," said she, calmly. " Vie, at least, have no 
'tistomers, if that be the name lor them." 

" It's natural, indeed, dear lady, you shouldn't know how they are 
c-alled," began the Doctor, in a fawning tone, " reared and brought 

as you were." 

Tiie cold, steady stare of Miss Barrington arrested his speech, and 



BARRTNGTO>'. 25 

though he made immense efforts to recover himself, there was that in 
her look which totally overcame him. " Sit down to your rubber, 
Sir," said she, in a whisper, that seemed to thrill through his veins. 
" Tou will find yourself far more at home at tbe odd trick there, 
than attempting to console me about my lost honours." And with 
this fierce admonition, she gave a little nod, half in adieu, half in 
admonition, and swept haughtily out of the room. 

M'Cormick heaved a sigh as the door closed after her, which very 
plainly bespoke how mucli he felt the relief. 

" My poor sister is a bit out of spirits this evening," said Bar- 
ringtou, who merely saw a certain show of constraint over his com- 
pany, and never guessed the cause. " We've had some unpleasant 
letters, and one thing or another to annoy us, and if she doesn't 
join us at supper, you'll excuse her, I know, M'Cormick." 

" That we will, with " He was going to add, " with a heart 

and a half," for he felt, what to him was a rare sentiment, " grati- 
tude," but Dill chimed in : 

" Of course, we couldn't expect she'd appear. I remarked she was 
nervous when we came in. I saw an expression in her eye " 

" So did I, faith," muttered M'Cormick, "and I'm not a doctor." 

"And here's our whist-table," said Barrington, bustling about; 
" and there's a bit of supper ready there for us in that room, and 
we'll help ourselves, for I've sent Darby to bed. And now give me 
a hand with these cards, for they've all got mixed togetlier." 

Barrington's task was the very wearisome one of trying to sort 
out an available pack from some half-dozen of various sizes and 
colours. 

" Isn't this for all the world like raising a regiment out of twenty 
volunteer corps ?" said M'Cormick. 

" Dill would call it an hospital of incurables," said Barrington. 
" Have you got a knave of spades, and a seven ? Oh dear, dear ! 
the knave, with the head off him ! I begin to suspect we must look 
up a new pack." There was a tone of misgiving in the way he said 
this ; for it implied a reference to his sister, and all its consequences. 
Aifecting to search ibr new cards in his own room, therefore, he arose 
and went out. 

" I wouldn't live in a slavery like that," muttered the Major, " to 
be King of France." 

" Something has occurred here. There is some latent source of 
irritation," said Dill, cautiously. " Barrington's own manner is 
fidgety and uneasy. I have my suspicion matters are going on but 
poorly with them." 



26 BARIirt^'GTO>\ 

While this sage diagnosis was being nttered, M'Cormick had 
taken a short excursion into the adjoining room, from which he re- 
turned, eating a pickled onion. " It's the old story ; the cold roast 
loin and the dish of salad. Listen ! Did you hear that shout ?" 

" I tliought I heard one a while back ; but I fancied afterwards it 
was only the noise of the river over the stones." 

" It is some fellows drawing the river ; they poach under his very 
windows, and he never sees them." 

" I'm afraid we're not to have our rubber this evening," said Dill, 
mournfully. 

" There's a thing, now, I don't understand !" said M'Corinick, in 
a low but bitter voice. " No man is obliged to see company, but 
v,-hen be does do it, he oughtn't to be running about for a tumbler 
here and a mustiird-pot there. There's the noise again; it's fellows 
robbing the salmon-weir!" 

" No rubber to-night, I perceive that," reiterated trie Boctor, still 
intent upon the one theme. 

" A thousand pardons I ask from eacli of you," cried Earrington, 
coming hurriedly in, with a somewhat flushed face; "but I've had 
such a hunt for these cards. When I put a thing awa}', uow-a-days, 
it's as good as gone to me, for I remember nothing. But here we 
arc, now, all right." 

The party, like men eager to retrieve lost time, were soon deep m 
their game, very little being uttered, save such remarks as the contest 
called for. The Major was of that order of players wdio firmly 
believe fortune will desert them if they don't whine and complain of 
their luck, and so everything from bim was a lamentation. The 
Doctor, who I'egarded whist pathologically, no more gave up a game 
than lie would a patient. He had witnessed marvellous recoveries in 
the most hopeless cases, and he had been rescued by a " revoke" in 
the last hour. Unlike each, Bai-rington was one who liked to cliat 
over his game, as he would over his wine. Not that he took little in- 
terest in it, but it liad no power to absorb a-nd engross him. If a man 
derive very great pleasure from a pastime in which, after years and 
years of practice, lie can attain no eminence nor any mastery, you 
may be almost certain he is one of an amiable temperament. Nothing 
short of real goodness of nature could go on deriving enjoyment from 
a pursuit associated with continual defeats. Such a one iiuist be 
hopeful, he must be submissive, he must have no touch of ungenerous 
jealousy in his nature, and, withal, a zealous -wish to do better. Nov/ 
lie who can be all these, in anything, is no bad fellow. 

If Barrington, therefore, was beaten, he bore it well. Cards T,'ero 



EAKUTNGTG?T. 27 

often enough against him, his pLiy was always so; and thongli the 
Doctor had words of bland consolation for disaster, such as the habits 
of his craft taught him, the Major was a pitiless adversary, who 
never omitted the opportunity of disinterring all his opponents' 
blunders, and singing a song of triumph over them. But so it is — 
tot genera Jiominum — so many kinds of whist-players are there ! 

Hour after hour went over, and it was late in the night. None felt 
disposed to sup — at least none proposed it. The stakes were small it 
is true, but small things are great to little men, and Barringtoil's 
guests were always the winners. 

" I believe if I was to be a good player — which I know in my heart 
I never shall," said Barrington, " that my luck would swamp me after 
ail. Look at that hand now, and say is there a trick in it r" As he 
said this, he spread out the cards of his " dummy" on the table, with 
the disconsolation of one thoroughly beaten. 

"Well, it might be worse," said Dill, consolingly. " There's a 
queen of diamonds; and I wouldn't say, if you could get an oppor- 
tunity to trump the club " 

" Let him try it," broke in the merciless Major ; "let him just try 
it ! My name isn't Dan M'Cormick if he'll win one card in that hand. 
There now, I lead the ace of clubs. Play!" 

" Patience, Major, patience ; let me look over my hand. I'm bad 
enough at the best, but I'll be worse if you hurry me. Is that a king 
or a knave I see there ?" 

"It's neither; it's the queen!" barked out the Major. 

"Doctor, you'll have to look after my eyes as well as my ears. In- 
deed, I scarcely know which is the worst. Was not that a voice 
outside ?" 

" I should think it was ; there have been fellows shouting there the 
whole evening. I suspect they don't leave you many fisli in this part 
of the river." 

"I beg your pardon," interposed Dill, blandly, " but you've taken 
up my card by mistake." 

While Barrington was excusing himself, and trying to recover his 
lost clue to the game, there came a violent knocking at the door, and 
a loud voice called out, " Holloa ! Will some of ye open the door, or 
must I put my foot through it ?" 

"There is somebody there," said Barrington, quietly, for he had 
now caught the words correctly ; and taking a candle, he liastened out. 

"At last," cried a stranger, as the door opened — " at last! Do you 
know that we've been full twenty minutes here, listening to your 
aaimated discussion ever the odd trick ? — I. faintinc; vnth hunp^er, and 



28 liAKRINOTON'. 

my fi-iciul, witli pain." And so sayini;, lie assisted anoilier to limp 
forward, who leaned on his arm and moved with the greatest diffi- 
culty. 

The mere sight of one in suffering repressed any notion of a re- 
joinder to this somewhat rude speech, and Barrington led the way 
into the room. 

"Have you met with an accident?" asked he, as he placed the 
sufferer on a sofa. 

"Yes," interposed the first speaker; "he slipped down one of 
those rocks into the river, and has sprained, if he has not broken, 
something." 

"It is our good fortune to have advice here ; this gentleman is a 
doctor." 

" Of the Eoyal CoUege, and an ]M.D. of Aberdeen besides," said 
Dill, with a professional smile, while, turning back his cuffs, he pro- 
ceeded to remove the shoe and stocking of his patient. 

"Don't be afraid of hnrting, but just tell me at once wdiat's the 
matter," said the young fellow, down whose cheeks great drops were 
rolling in his agony. 

"Tiiere is no pronouncing at once ; there is great tumefaction here. 
It may be a mere sprain, oi- it may be a fracture of the fibula simple, 
or a fracture with luxation." 

" Well, if you can't tell the injury, tell us what's to be done for it. 
Get him to bed, I suppose, first r" said the friend. 

" By all means lo bed, and cold applications on the affected part." 

" Here's a room all ready, and at hand," said Barrington, opening 
the door into a little chamber replete with comfort and propriety. 

" Come," said the first speaker, " Yrcd, all this is very snug; one 
might have fallen upon worse quarters." And so saying, he assisted 
his friend forward, and deposited him upon the bed. 

AVhile the Doctor busied himself with the medical cares for his 
patient, and arranged with due skill the appliances to relieve his 
present suifering, the other stranger related how they had lost their 
v.ay, having first of all taken the wrong bank of the river, and been 
obliged to retrace their steps upwards of three miles to retrieve their 
iuistake. 

"Where were you going to r" asked Barrington. 

" We were in search of a little inn they had told us of, called the 
' risherman's Home'. I conclude we have reached it at last, and you 
are the host, I take it?" 

Barrington bowed assent. 

" And these gentlemen are visitors lierc." But without waiting 




---^^/cj^^ 



/- 



BAIUIINGTON. 20 

for an)-^ reply — difficult at all times, for be spoke with great rapidity 
and continual change of topic — lie now stooped down to v.hisper 
something to the sick man. "My friend thinks he'll do capitalh' 
now, and, if we leave him, that he'll soon drop asleep ; so I vote we 
give him the chance," Thus saying, he made a gesture for the others 
to leave, following them up as they went, almost like one enforcing 
an order. 

" If I am correct in my reading, you are a soldier, sir," said Ear- 
rington, when they reached the outer room, " and this gentleman 
here is a brother officer — Major M'Cormick." 

" Full pay, eh ?" 

" No, I am an old Walcheren man." 

" Walcheren — "VValcheren — why that sounds lik-e Malplaquet or 
Blenheim ! AVhere the deuce was "Walcheren ? Didn't believe that 
there was an old tumbril of that affair to the fore still. Tou were 
all licked there, or you died of the ague, or jaundice? Oh, dummv 
whist, as I live ! Who's the unlucky dog has got the dummy ? — bad as 
Walcheren, by Jove ! Isn't that a supper I see laid out there ? Dcn't 
I smell Stilton from that room ?" 

" If you'll do us the honour to join us " 

"That I will, and astonish you with an appetite, too! "We break- 
fasted at a beastly hole called Graigue, and tasted nothing since, ex- 
cept a few peaches I stole out of an old fellow's garden on the river- 
side — ' Old Dan the miser,' a country fellow called him." i 

" I have the honour to have afforded you the entertainment you 
speak of," said M'Cormick, smarting with anger. 

" All right ! The peaches were excellent — would have been better 
if riper. I'm afraid I smashed a window of yours ; it was a stone I 
shied at a confounded dog, a sort of terrier. Pickled onions and 
walnuts, by all that's civilised ! And so this is the ' Fisherman's Home,' 
and you the fisherman, eh ! Well, why not show a light or a lantern 
over the door? who the deuce is to know that this is a place of 
entertainment? We only guessed it at last." 

" May I help you to some mutton," said Barringtou, more amused 
than put out by his guest's discursiveness. 

" By all means. But don't carve it that way : cut it lengthwise, as 
if it were the saddle, which it ought to have been. You must tell me 
where you got this sherry. I have tasted nothing like it for many a 
day — real brown sherry. I suppose you know how they brown it? 
it's not done by sugar — that's a vulgar error. It's done by boiling; 
tboy boil down so many butts, and reduce them to about a fourth or 

fifth. Tou haven't got any curraut-jelly, have you ? it is just as 



')0 BARniNGTON. 

good with cold mutton as liot And then it is the wine thus reduced 
they use for colouring matter. 1 got up all my sherry experiences 
on the spot." 

" The wine you approve of" lias heeu in my cellar about iive-and- 
forty years." 

"It would not if I'd have heen your neighbour, rely upou that. 
I'd have secured every bottle of it for our mess ; and mind, whatever 
remains of it is mine." 

" Might I make bold to remark," said Dill, interposing, " that we 
arc the guests of my fi'iend here on this occasion." 
"Eh, what— guests?" 

"I am proud enough to believe that you will not refuse me the 
honour of your company ; for though an innkeeper, I write myselt 
gentleman," said Barringtou, blandly, though not without emotion. 

" I should think you might," broke in the stranger, heartily ; " and 
I'd say the man who had a doubt about your claims had very little 
of his own. And now a word of apology for the mode of our entrance 
here, and to introduce myself. I am Colonel Hunter, of the 21st 
Hussars ; my friend is a young subaltei'u of the regiment." 

A moment before, and all the awkwardness of his position was 
painful to Barriugton. He felt that the traveller was there by a 
right, free to order, condemn, and criticise as he pleased. The few 
words of explanation, given in all the frankness of a soldier and with 
the tact of a gentleman, relieved this embarrassment, and he was 
himself again. As for M'Cormick and Dill, the mere announcement 
of the regiment he commanded seemed to move and impress them. 
It was one of those corps especially known in the service for the rank 
and ibrtune of its officers. The Prince himself was their Colonel, 
and they had acquired a wide notoriety for exclusiveness and pride, 
which, when treated by unfriendly -critics, assumed a shape less 
favourable still. 

Colonel Hunter, if he wore to be taken as a type of his regiment, 
niight have rebutted a good deal of this floating criticism ; he had a fine 
honest countenance, a rich mellow voice, and a sort of easy jollity in 
manner, that spoke well both for his spirits and his temper. He did, 
it is true, occasionally chafe against some susceptible spot or other 
of those around him, but there was no malice prepense in it any 
more than there is intentional offence in the passage of a strong man 
through a crowd ; so he elbowed his way, and pushed on in conversa- 
tion, never so much as suspecting that he jostled any one in his 
path. 

Both Barrington and Hunter were inveterate sportsmen, and they 



BABEINQTON. 81 

/anf;;ed over hunting-fields, aud grouse mountains, and partrid'^-e 
stubble, and trout streams, \vith all the zest of men who feel a sort of 
mesmeric brotherhood in the interchange of their experiences. Lou"' 
after the Major and tho Doctor had taken their leave, they sat there 
recounting stories of their several adventures, and recalling incidents 
of flood and field. 

In return for a cordial invitation to Hunter to stay and fish the 
river for some days, Barrington pledged himself to visit the Colonel 
the first time he should go up to Kilkenny. 

" And I'll mount you. "You shall have a horse I never lent iu my 
life. I'll put you on ' Trumpeter' — sire Sir Ilercules — no mistake 
there ; would carry sixteen stone with the fastest hounds in Eng- 
land." 

Barrington shook his head, and smiled, as he said, " It's two-and- 
tweuty years since I sat a fence. I'm afraid I'll not revive the fame of 
my horsemanship by appearing again in the saddle." 
" "Why, what age do you call yourself?" 
" Eighty-three, if I live to August next." 

" I'd not have guessed you within ten years of it. I've just passed 
fifty, and already I begin to look for a horse Avith more bone beneath 
the knee, and more substance across the loins." 

" These are only premonitory symptoms, after all," said Barrington, 
laughing. "You've many a day before you come to a fourteen-hand 
cob and a kitchen chair to mount him." 

Hunter lauglied at the picture, and dashed away, in his own half- 
reckless v.ay, to other topics. He talked of his regiment proudly, 
and told Barrington what a splendid set of young fellows were his 
officers. " I'll show you such a mess," said he, " as no corps in the 
service can match." While he talked of their high-hearted and 
generous natures, and with enthusiasm of the life of a soldier, Barring- 
ton could scarcely refrain from speaking of his own " boy," the son 
from whom he had hoped so nuich, and whose loss had been the 
death-blow to all his ambitions. There were, however, circumstances 
in that story which sealed his lips ; and though the father never 
believed one syllable of the allegations against his son — though he 
iiad [)aid the penalty of a King's Bench mandamus and imprisonment 
for horse-whipping the editor who had aspersed his "boy," the 
world and the world's verdict were against him, and he did not dare 
to revive the memory of a name against which all the severities of tho 
press had once been directed, and public opinion had condeuuied 
with all its weight and power. 

"I see that I am wearying you," said Hunter, as he remarked the 



'32 EAKIUNGTON. 

grave and saddened expression that now stole over Barrington's face. 
" I ouglit to have remembered wliat an liour it was — more than lialf- 
])ast two." And, without waiting to liear a reply, he shook his 
host's liand cordially and hurried off to his room. 

While Barrington busied himself in locking up the wine, and 
putting away haU'-finishud decanters — cares that his sister's watchful- 
ness very ini[)eratively exacted — he heard, or fancied he heai'd, a voice 
from the room where the sick man lay. lie opened the door very 
gently and looked in. 

" All right," said the youth. " I'm not asleep, nor did I want to 
sleep, for I have been listening to you and the Colonel these two 
hours, and with rare pleasure, I can tell you. The Colonel would 
have gone a hundred miles to meet a man like yourself, so fond oi 
the iield and such a thorough sportsman." 

"Yes, I was so once," sighed Barrington, for already had come a 
sort of reaction to the late excitement. 

" Isn't the Colonel a fine fellow r" said the young man, as eager 
to relieve the awkwardness of a sad theme as to praise one he loved. 
" Don't you like him ?" 

"That I do!" said Barrington, heartily. " His fine genial spirit 
lias put me in better temper with myself than I fancied was in r.iy 
nature to be. AV^e are to have some trout-fishing together, and I 
])romise you it shan't be my fault if he doesn't like me." 

" And may I be of the party — may I go with you ?" 

" Only get well of your accident, and you shall do whatever you 
like. By the way, did not Colonel Hunter serve iu India ?" 

" For fifteen years, lie has only left Bengal within a icw 
months." 

" Then he can probably help me to some information. He may be 
able to tell me Good night, good night," said he hurriedly; "to- 
morrow will be time enoujih to think of this." 



KAlilllNQTON 



CHAPTEK IV. 



FRED CONTEKS. 



YiiiRT soou after daybreak the Colonel was up and at the bedaidu 
of his youug friend. 

" Sorry to wake you, Fred," said he, gently, "but I have just got 
an urgent despatch, requiring me to set out at once for Dublin, and 
I didn't like to go without asking how you get on." 

" Oh, much better. Sir. I can move the foot a little, and I feel 
assured it's only a severe sprain." 

" That's all right. Take your own time, and don't attempt to move 
about too early. Ton are in capital quarters here, and. will be well 
looked after. There is only one diflBculty, and I don't exactly see 
h.ow to deal with it. Our host is a reduced gentleman, brought down 
to keep an inn for support, but what benefit he can derive from it is 
not so very clear; for when I asked the man who fetched me hot 
water tliis morning for my bill, he replied that his master told him I 
was to be his guest here for a week, and not on any account to accept 
}noney from me. Ireland is a very strange place, and we are learning 
sometliing new in it every day, but this is the strangest thing I have 
met yet." 

" In my case this would be impossible. I must of necessity give a 
deal of trouble — not to say that it would add unspeakably to my 
annoyance to feel that I could not ask freely for what I wanted." 

" I liave no reason to suppose, mind you, that you are to be dealt 
Avith as I have been, but it would be well to bear in mind who and 
what these people are." 

" And get away from them as soon as possible," added the young 
fellow, half peevishly. 

"Nay, nay, Fred; don't be impatient. Tou'U be delighted with 
the old fellow^ who is a heart-and-soul sportsman. "What station he 
once occupied I can't guess, but in the remarks he makes about horses 
and hounds, all his knowing hints on stable management and the 
tj'eatment of young cattle, one would say that he must have had a 
large fortune and kept a great establishment." 

In the Ijalf self-sufficient toss of the head which received this 

n 



^4 BAEEIXQTOir. 

speech, it was plain that the young man thought his Colonel was 
easily imposed on, and that sucli pretensions as these would have 
very little success with liivi. 

" I have no douht some of your brother officers will take a run 
down to see how you get on, and, it" so, I'll scud over a hamper of 
Avine, or something of the kind, that you can manage to make him 
accept." 

" It will not he very difficult, I opine," said the young man, 
laufihinjrlv. 

"No, no," rejoined the other, misconstruing the drift of liia words. 
"Ton liave plenty of tact, Fred. You'll do the thing with all due 
delicacy. i\nd now, good-by. Let me hear how you fare, here." 
And with a hearty farewell they parted. 

There was none astir in the cottage but Darby as the Colonel set 
out to gain the high road, where the post-horses awaited him. From 
Darby, however, as he went along, he gathered much of his host's 
former history. It was with astonishment he learned that the 
splendid house of Barrington Hall, where he had been dining with 
an Earl a few days ago, was the old family seat of that poor inn- 
keeper ; that the noble deer-park had once acknowledged him for 
master. " And will again, plase God !" burst in Darby, who thirsted 
for an opportunity to launch out into law, and all its bright hopes and 
prospects. 

" We have a record on trial in Trinity Term, and an argument 
before the twelve Judges, and the case is as plain as the nose on your 
lionour's face ; for it was ruled by Chief Baron Medge, in the great 
cause of ' Peters against Todd, a widow,' that a settlement couldn't 
be broke by an estreat." 

" Ton are quite a lawyer, I see," said the Colonel. 

" I wish I was. I'd rather be a Judge on the bench than a King 
on his throne." 

" And yet I am beginning to susp(^ct law may have cost your 
master dearly." 

" It's not ten, nor twenty — no, nor thirty — thousand pounds would 
see him through it!" said Darby, with a triumph in his tone that 
seemed to proclaim a very proud declaration. " There's families 
would be comfortable for life with just what we spent upon special 
juries." 

""Well, as you tell mo he has no family, the injury has been all 
liis own." 

" That's true. We're the last of the ould stoclc," said he, sorrow- 
fully ; and little more passed between them, till the Colonel, ou part- 



BAIIRINGTOX. 35 

ing, put a couple of guineas iu his liand, and enjoined him to look 
after tlie young friend he had left beliind him. 

It is now my task to introduce this young gentleman to my readers. 
Frederick Conyers, a Cornet in his Majesty's Hussars, was the only 
Hon of a very distinguished oiBcer, Lieutenant-Greneral Conyers, a 
man who had not alone served with great reputation in the field, but 
held offices of high political trust in India, tlie country where all liis 
life had been passed. Holding a high station as a political resident 
at a native court, wielding great power, and surrounded by an unde- 
viating homage, General Conyers saw his son growing up to manhood 
witli everything that could foster pride and minister to self-exaltation 
around him. It was not alone the languor and indolence of an 
Eastern life tliat he had to dread for him, but the haughty temper 
and overbearing spirit so sure to come out of habits of domination in 
very early life. 

Though he had done all that he could to educate his son, by masters 
brought at immense cost from Europe, the really important element 
of education — the self-control and respect for others' rights — only to 
be acquired by daily life and intercourse with equals, this he could 
not supply; and he saw, at last, that the project he had so long 
indulged, of keeping his son with him, must be abandoned. Perhapa- 
the rough speech of an old comrade helped to dispel tlie illusion, as- 
he asked, " Are you bringing up that boy to be a Eajah ?" His 
llrst thought was to send him to one of the Universities, his great 
desire being that the young man should feel some ambition for public 
life and its distinctions. He bethought him, however, that while the 
youth of Oxford and Cambridge enter upon a college career, trained 
by all the discipline of our public schools, Fred would approach the 
ordeal without any such preparation whatever. AVithout one to exert 
authority over him, little accustomed to the exercise of self-restraint, 
the experiment Avas too perilous. 

To place him, therefore, where, from the very nature of the position, 
souie guidance and control would be exercised, and where, by the 
working of that model democracy — a mess — he would be taught to 
repress self-sufficiency and presumption, he determined on the army, 
and obtained a cornetcy in a regiment commanded by one who had 
long served on his own staff. To most young fellows such an opening 
in life would have seemed all that was delightful and enjoyable. To 
be just twenty, gazetted to a splendid cavalry corps, with a father 
rich enough and generous enough to say, " Live like the men about 
you, and don't be afraid that your cheques will come back to you," 
tlicse are great aids to a very pleasant existence. Whether tho 



36 BAREINGTOK. 

euervation of that life of Oriental indulgence had now become a 
Datura to him, or whether he had no liking for the service itself, or 
wliether the change from a condition of almost princely state to a 
position of mere equality witli others, chafed and irritated him, but 
so is it, he did not " take to" the regiment, nor the regiment to 
him. 

Now it is a fact, and not a very agreeable fact either, that a man 
with a mass of noble qualities may fail to attract that kindliness and 
good feeling towards him whicli a far less worthy individual, merely 
by certain traits, or by the semblance of them, of a yielding, passive 
nature, is almost sure to acquire. 

Conycrs was generous, courageous, and loyal, in the most chivalrous 
sense of that word, to every obligation of friendship. He was emi- 
nently truthful and honourable ; but he had two qualities whose 
baneful influence would disparage the very best of gifts. He was " im- 
perious," and, in the phrase of his brother officers, " he never gave 
in." Some absurd impression had been made on him, as a child, that 
obstinacy and persistency were the noblest of attributes, and tliat, 
having said a thing, no event or circumstance could ever occur to in- 
duce a cliange of opinion. 

Such a quality is singularly unfitted to youth, and marvellously 
out of place in a regiment ; hence was it that the " Eajah," as he was 
generally called by his comrades, had few intimates, and not one 
friend amongst them. 

If I have dwelt somewhat lengthily on these traits, it is because 
their possessor is one destined to be much before us in this history. 
I will but chronicle one other feature. I am sorry it should be a dis- 
qualifying one. Owing in great measure, perhaps altogether, to his 
having been brought up in the East, where Hindoo craft and subtlety 
were familiarised to his mind from infancy, he was given to suspect 
that few things were ever done from the motives ascribed to them, 
and that under the open game of life was another concealed game, 
which was the real one. As yet, this dark and pernicious distrust 
had only gone the length of impressing him with a sense of his own 
consummate acuteness, an amount of self-satisfaction, which my 
reader may have seen tinging the few Avords he exchanged with his 
Colonel before separating. 

Let us now see him as he sits in a great easy-chair, his sprained 
ankle resting on another, in a little honeysuckle-covered arbour of 
the garden, a table covered with books, and i'resh flowers beside him, 
■while Darby stands ready to serve him from the breakfast-table, 
where a very tempting meal is already spread out. 







'/^ .^^i^ 



BAKKINGTOK. 37 

"So, then, I can't see your master, it seems," said Conyers, lial/' 
peevishly. 

"Paix you can't; he's ten miles off by this. He got a letter by 
the post, and set out lialf an hour after for Kilkenny. He went to 
your honour's door, but seeing you was asleep he wouldn't wake you ; 
' but Darby,' says he, ' take care of that young gentleman, and mind,' 
says he, ' that he wants for nothing.' " 

" Very thoughtful oiliim — very considerate indeed," said the youth ; 
but in what precise spirit it is not easy to say. " Who lives about 
here ? What gentlemen's places are there, I mean r" 

"Tliere's Lord Carrackmore, and Sir Arthur Godfrey, and Moore 
of Ballyduff, and Mrs. Powerscroft of the Grove " 

" Do any of these great folk ever come down here ?" 

Darby would like to have given a ready assent — he Avould liave 
been charmed to say that they came daily, that they made the place 
a continual rendezvous ; but as lie saw no prospect of being able to 
give his fiction even twenty-four hours' currency, he merely changed 
from one leg to the other, and, in a tone of apology, said, " Betimes 
they does, when the sayson is fine." 

" AVho are the persons who are most frequently here ?" 

" Those two that you saw last night — the Major and Doctor Dill. 
They're up here every second day, fishing, and eating their dinner 
with the master." 

" Is the fishing good ?" 

" The best in Ireland." 

" And what shooting is there — any partridges ?" 

" Partridges, be gorra! You couldn't see the turnips for them." 

" And woodcocks ?" 

" Is it woodcocks ! The sky is black with the sight of them." 

"Any lions?" 

"Well, maybe an odd one now and then," said Darby, half apolo- 
gising for the scarcity. 

There was an ineffable expression of self-satisfaction in Conyers's 
face at tlie subtlety with which he had drawn Darby into this admis- 
sion; and the delight in his own acuteuess led him to offer the poor 
fellow a cigar, which he took w'ith very grateful thanks, 

" From wliat you tell me, then, I shall find this place stupid enough 
till I am able to be up and about, eh ? Is there any one can play 
chess hereabout ?" 

" Sure there's Miss Dinah ; she's a great hand at it they tell me." 

" And who is Miss Dinah ? Is she young — is she pretty ?" 
Darby gave a very cautious look all around him, and then closing 



38 BAnniNOTox. 

one eye, so as to give liis face a look of intense cuuuiug, lie noadeu 
very siguificantly twice. 

" Wliat do you mean by that r" 

" I mane tliat slie'll never see sixty ; and for the matter of 
beauty " 



'"Oil, you've said quite enough; I'm not curious about her looks. 
IN'ow for auotlier point. If I should Avant to get away from this, 
"ffliat other inn or hotel is there in the neiglibourhood ?" 

" There's Joe M'Cabe's, at Inistioge ; but you are better where you 
are. "Wiiere will you see fresh butter like that ? and look at the 
cream, the spoon will stand in it. Far and near it's given up to her 
that nobody can make coffee like Miss Dinah ; and when you taste them 
trout you'Jl tell me if they're iiot fit for the king." 

" Everything is excellent — could not be better ; but there's a diffi- 
culty. There's a matter which to me at least makes a stay here most 
unpleasant. M}^ friend tells me that he could not get liis bill — that 
he was accepted as a guest. Now I can't permit this " 

" Tliere it is, now," said Darby, approaching the table, and dropping 
his voice to a confidential whisper. " Tiiat's the master's way. If he 
gets a stranger to sit down with him at dinner or supper, lie may eat 
■and drink as long as he plases, and sorra sixpence he'll pay ; and it's 
that same ruins us, nothing else, for it's then he'll call for the best 
sherry, and that ould Madeira that's worth a guinea a bottle. What's 
ihc use, after all, of me inflaming tlie bill on the next traveller, and 
putting down everything maybe double ? And worse tlian all," con- 
tinued he, in a tone of horror, " let him only hear any one com- 
])lain about his bill, or saying, ' "What's this ?' or ' I didn't get that,' 
out he'll come, as mighty and as grand as the Lord-Liftinint, and say, 
"' I'm sorrv. Sir, that we failed to make this place agreeable to you. 
Will you do me the favour not to mind the bill at all ?' and with that 
he'd tear it up in little bits and walk away." 

" To me that would be only additional oftence. I'd not endure it." 

" What could you do ? You'd maybe slip a five-pound note into 
juy hand, and say, ' Darby, my man, settle this little matter for me ; 
you Icnow the ways of the place.' " 

" I'll not risk such an annoyance, at all events, that I'm deter- 
mined on." 

Darby began now to perceive that he had misconceived his brief, 
and must alter his pleadings as quickly as possible ; in fact, he saw ho 
was " stopping an earth" he had meant merely to mask. " Just leave 
it all to me, youi* honour, leave it all to me, and I'll have your bill for 
you every morning on the breakfast-table. And why wouldn't you ? 



EAIIR1]S'GT0]V. 39 

'Why would a gentleman like j'our honour be beliouldiu' to any cue for 
his meat and dhrink ?" burst he in, with an eager rapidity. " AVhy 
wouldn't you say, 'Darby, bring uie this, get nie tliat, fetch me the 
other ; expiuse is no object in life to me.' " 

There was a faint twinkle of humour in the eye of Conyers, and 
Darby stopped sliort, and with that half-lisping simplicity which a 
low Irishman understands to perfection, and can exercise whenever 
the occasion requires, he said, " But sure, isn't your honour laughing 
at me ? isn't it just making fun of me you are? all because I'm a poor 
ignorant crayture that knows no better !" 

"Nothing of the kind," said Conyers, frankly. "I was only 
smiling at thoughts that went through ray head at the moment." 

" Well, fiiix ! there's one coming up the path now won't make you 
laugh," said Darby, as he whispered, " it's Doctor Dill." 

The Doctor was early with his patient ; if the case was not one of 
urgency, the sufferer was in a more elevated rank than usually fell to 
the chances of Dispensary practice. Then, it promised to be one of 
those nice chronic cases, in which tact and personal agreeability — the 
two great strongholds of Doctor Dill in his own estimation — were of 
far more importance than the materia medica, Now, if Dill's world 
was not a very big one, he knew it thoroughly. He was a chronicle 
of all the family incidents of the county, and could recount every 
•disaster of every house for thirty miles round. 

"Wlien the sprain had, therefore, been duly examined, and all the 
pangs of the patient sufficiently condoled with to establish the phy- 
sician as a man of feeling, Dill proceeded to his task as a man of the 
world. Conyers, however, abruptly stopped him, by saying, " Tell mo 
how I'm to get out of this place ; some other inn, I mean ?" 

" You are not comfortable here, then ?" asked Dill. 

" In one sense, perfectly so. I like the quietness, the delightful 
tranquillity, the scenery — everything, in short, but one circumstance. 
I'm afraid these worthy people — whoever they are — waut to regard 
me as a guest. Now I don't know them — never saw them — don't care 
to see them. My Colonel has a liking for all this sort of thing. It 
has, to his mind, a character of adventure that amuses him. It 
wouldn't in the least amuse me, and so I want to get away." 

"Yes," repeated Dill, blandly, after him, "wants to get away; 
desires to change the air." 

" Not at all," broke in Conyers, peevishly ; " no question of air 
whatever. I don't Avant to be on a visit. I waut an inn. "VYhat ia 
this place they tell me of up the river, Inis — something ?" 

" Inistioge. M'Cabe's house ; the ' Spotted Duck ;' very small, very 
poor, far from clean, besides." 



40 



BAKm>GTO>'. 



" Is there nothing else? Can't you thiuk of some other place, f'er 
T can't liave my servant here, circumstanced as I am now." 

The Doctor paused to reply. The medical mind is eminently ready- 
witted, and Dill at a glance took in all the dangers of removing his 
patient. Should he transfer him to his own village, the visit, which non- 
had to be requited as a journey of three miles and upwards, would 
then be an alfair of next door. Should he send him to Thomastown, 
it would be worse again, for then he would be within the precincts of 
a greater than Dill himself — a practitioner who had a one-horse 
phaeton, and whose name was written on brass. " AVould you dis- 
like a comfortable lodging in a private family — one of the first re- 
spectability I may make bold to call it ?" 

" Abhor it ! — couldn't endure it ! I'm not essentially troublesome 
or exacting, but I like to be able to be either wlienevcr the humour 
takes me." 

" I was thinking of a house where you miglit freely take these 

liberties " 

" Liberties ! I call them rights, Doctor, not liberties ! Can't 
you imagine a man, not very wilful, not very capricious, but who, 
if the wliim took him, wouldn't stand being thwarted by any habits 
of a so-called respectable family ? There, don't throw up your eyes, 
and misunderstand me. All I mean is, that my hours of eating and 
sleeping have no rule. I smoke everywhere ; I make as much noise 
as I please ; and I never brook any impertinent curiosity about what 
I do, or what I leave undone." 

" Under all the circumstances, you had, perhaps, better remain 
where you are," said Dill, thoughtfully. 

" Of course, if these people will permit me to pay for my board 
and lodging. If they'll condescend to let me be a stranger, I ask 
for nothing better than this place." 

" INIiglit I oiFer myself as a negotiator?" said Dill, insinuatingly ; 
" for I opine that the case is not of tlie difficulty you suppose. AVill 
you confide it to my hands ?" 

" With all my lieart. I don't exactly see why there should be a 
negotiation at all ; but if there must, pray be the special envoy." 

AV'hen Dill arose and set out on his mission, the young fellow 
looked after him with an expression that seemed to say: " IIow you 
all imagine you are humbugging me, while I read every one of you 
like a book." 

Let us follow the Doctor, and see how he acquitted himself in lii3 
diplomacy. 



BARRiyQTON. 4l 



CnAPTEK V. 



DILL AS A DIPLOMATIST. 



Doctor Dill liad knocked twice at the door of Miss Barringtou's 
little sitting-room, and no answer was returned to his summons. 

" Is the dear lady at home ?" asked he, blandly. But, though he 
waited for some seconds, no reply came. 

" Might Doctor Dill be permitted to make his compliments ?" 

" Yes, come in," said a sharp voice, very much with the expres- 
sion of one wearied out by importunity. Miss Barrington gave 
a brief nod in return for the profound obeisance of her visitor, 
and then turned again to a large map which covered the table bo- 
fore her. 

" I took the opportunity of my professional call here this morn- 
ing " 

" How is that young man — is anything broken ?" 

" I incline to say there is no fracture. The flexors, and perhaps 
indeed the annvilar ligament, are the seat of all the mischief" 

" A common sprain, in fact ; a thing to rest for one day, and hold 
under the pump the day after," 

" The dear lady is always prompt — always energetic ; but these 
sort of cases are often complicated, and require nice management." 

" And frequent visits," said she, with a dry gravity. 

"All the world must live, dear lady — all the world must live." 

" Tour profession does not always sustain youi' theory, Sir ; at 
least, popular scandal says you kill as many as you cure." 

" I knoAV the dear lady has little faith in physic." 

" Say none, Sir, and you will be nearer the mark : but, remember, 
I seek no converts ; I ask nobody to deny himself the luxuries of 
senna and gamboge because I prefer beef and mutton. Tou wanted 
to see my brother, I presume," added she, sharply, " but he started 
early this morning for Kilkenny. The Solicitor-General wanted to 
say a few words to him on his way down to Cork." 

"That weary law! that weary law!" ejaculated Dill, fervently; 
for he well knew with wliat little favour Miss Barrington regarded 
litigation. 

" And why so. Sir?" retorted she, sharply. ""What greater ab- 



■V2 HAiaaxuTOX. 

surdity is there iu beiiii; hypoclioudriae about your property tliau your 
person? My brother's taste iucliues to depletion by hiw ; others 
prefer the lancet." 

"Always witty, always smart, the dear lady," said Dill, wiUi a 
sad attempt at a smile. The ilattery passed without acknowledg- 
ment of any kind, and he resumed: " I dropped in this morning to 
you, dear lady, on a nuitter which, perhaps, might not be altogether 
pleasing to you." 

" Then don't do it, Sir." 

" If the dear lady would let me finish " 

'• I was warning you. Sir, not even to begin." 

" Yes, Madam," said he, stung into something like resistance, 
" but, I would have added, had I been permitted, w ithout any due 
reason for displeasure on your part." 

"And are i/ou the fitting judge of that, Sir ? If you know, as you 
say you know, that you are about to give me pain, by what presump- 
tion do you assert that it must be for my benefit ? AVhat's it all 
about r" 

" I come on tiie part of this young gentleman, dear lady, who, 
having learned — I cannot say uhere or how — that he is not to con- 
sider liimself here at an inn, but as a guest, feels, ^vith all the grati- 
tude that tlic occasion warrants, that he has no claim to the atten- 
tion, and that it is one whicli would render his position here too 
painful to persist in." 

''How did he come by this impression, Sir? Be frank and tell 
me." 

" I am really unable to say. Miss Dinah." 

" Come, Sir, be honest and own that tlie delusion arose from your- 
self — yes, from yourself. It was in perceiviug the courteous delicacy 
with which you declined a fee that be conceived this flattering notion 
of ua ; but go back to him, Doctor, and say it is a pure mistake ; that 
bis breakfast will cost liim one shilling, and bis dinner two ; the price 
of a boat to fetch him np to Tliomastown is half-a-crown, and that the 
■eai'lier he orders one the better. Listen to me. Sir," said she, and her 
lips trembled witli passion — " listen to me, while I speak of this for 
the first and last time. Whenever my brother, recurring to what he 
once was, has been emboldened to treat a passing stranger as his 
guest, the clioice has been so judiciously exercised as to fall upoji one 
•who could respect the motive and not resent the liberty; but never 
till tliis moment has it befallen us to be told that the possibilily — 
the bare possibility — of such a presumption should be met by a 
declaration of refusal. Go back, then, to your patient, Sir ; assure 



BAHia^'GTON. 43 

iuiu tliat lio is at an inn, and that he lias the right to be all that his 
purse and his want of manners can ensure him." 

" Dear lady, I'm, maybe, a bad negotiator." 

" I trust sincerely, Sir, you are a better doctor." 

" Nothiug on earth was further from my mind than offence ' 

" Very possibly, Sir ; but, as you are aware, blisters will occa- 
sionally act with all the violence of caustics, so an irritating theme 
may be pressed at a very inauspicious moment. My cares as a 
hostess are not iu very good favour with me just now. Counsel 
;70nr young charge to a change of air, and I'll think no more of the 
naatter." 

Had it been a queen who had spoken, the Doctor could not more 
palpably have felt that his audience had terminated, and his only 
<iuty was to withdraw. 

And so he did retire, with much bowing and graciously smiling, 
and indicating, by all imaginable contortions, gratitude for the past 
and humility for ever. 

" I rejoice that I am not obliged to record as history the low but fer- 
vent mutteriugs that fell from his lips as he closed the door after him, 
and by a gesture of menace showed his feelings towards her he had 
just quitted. " Insolent old woman !" he burst out as he went along, 
" how can she presume to forget a station that every incident of her 
dail}^ life recals ? In the rank she once held, and can never return 
to, such manners would be an outrage ; but I'll not endure it again. 
It is your last triumph, Miss Dinah ; make much of it." Tims sus- 
tained by a very Dutch courage — for this national gift can come of 
passion as well as drink — he made liis way to his patient's presence, 
smoothing his brow as he went, and recalling the medico-chirurgical 
serenity of his features. 

"I have not done much, but I have accomplished something," said 
he, blandl3\ " I am at a loss to understand what they mean by in- 
troducing all these caprices into their means of life ; but assuredly it 
■will not attract strangers to the house." 

" Wliat are the caprices you allude to?" 

" "Well, it is not ve^ry easy to say ; perhaps I have not expressed 
my meaning quite correctly; but one thing is clear, a stranger likes 
to feel that his only obligation iu an inn is to discharge the bill." 

" I say, Doctor," broke in Conyers, " I have been thinking the 
matter over. AVhy should I not go back to my quarters ? There 
might surely be some means contrived to convey me to the high 
road ; after that, there will be no difficulty whatever." 

The Doctor actually shuddered at the thought. The sportsman 



4-i BAKUINOTOX. 

who sees the bird ho lias just Aviiiged ilutter away to his neighbour's 
preserve, may umlerstaud something at least of Doctor Dill's discom- 
fiture as he saw his wealthy patient threatening a departure. He 
quickly, therefore, summoned to his aid all those terrors which had 
so often done good service on like occasions. He gave a little 
graphic sketch of every evil consequence that might come of an im- 
prudent journey. The catalogue was a bulky one ; it ranged over 
tetanus, mortilication, and disease of the bones. It included every 
sort and description of pain as classified by science, into " dull, 
weary, and incessant" or " sharp lancuiating agony." Now Conyers 
was as brave as a lion, but had, withal, one of those temperaments 
which are miserably sensitive under suffering, and to which the mere 
description of pain is itself an acute pang. When, therefore, the 
Doctor drew the picture of a case very like the present one, where 
amputation came too late, Conyers burst in with, " For mercy's sake, 
will you stop ! I can't sit here to be cut up piecemeal ; there's not 
a nerve in my body you haven't set ajar." The Doctor blandly 
took out his massive watch, and laid his fingers on the young man's 
pulse : " Ninety-eight, and slightly intermittent," said lie, as though 
to himself. 

'•"What does that mean?" asked Conyers, eagerly. 
" The irregular action of the heart implies abnormal condition of 
the nervous system, and indicates imperatively rest, repose, and tran- 
quillity." 

" If lethargy itself be required, this is a capital place for it," sighed 
Conyers, drearily. 

" You liaven't turned your thoughts to what I said a while ago, 
being domesticated, as one might call it, in a nice quiet family, witli 
all the tender attentious of a home, and a little music in the 
evening." 

Siuipie as these words were. Dill gave to each of them an almost 
honeyed utterance. 

"No; it would bore me excessively. I detest to be looked after; I 
abhor what are called attentions." 

"Unobtrusively offered — tendered with a, due delicacy and re- 
serve ?" 

" Which means a sort of simpering civility that one has to smirk 
for, in return. No, no ; I was bred up in quite a diiferent school, 
where we clapped our liands twice when we wanted a servant, and the 
fedow's head paid for it if he were slow a coming. Don't tell me any 
more about your pleasant family, for they'd neither endure me, nor I 
them. Get me well as fast as you can, and out of this confounded 



BARniNOTOX. 45 

place, and I'll give you leave to make a vascular preparation of me if 
you catch me liere again !" 

The Doctor smiled, as doctors know how to smile when patients 
think they have said a smartness, and now eacli was somewhat on 
better terms with the other. 

" By the way. Doctor," said Conyers, suddenly, "you haven't told 
me what the old woman said. Wliat arrangement did you come to ?" 

" Tour breakfast will cost one shilling, your dinner two. Slie made 
no mention of your rooms, but only hinted that, whenever you took 
your departure, the charge for the boat was half-a-crown." 

" Come, all this is very business-like, and to the purpose ; but 
where, in Heaven's name, did any man live in this fashion for so 
little ? "We liave a breakfast-mess, but it's not to be compared to 
this — such a variety of bread, such grilled trout, such a profusion of 
fruit. After all. Doctor, it is very like being a guest, the nominal 
charge being to escape tlie sense of a favour. But perhaps one can 
do liere as at one of those ' hospices ' in the Alps, and make a present 
at Darting to requite the liospitality." 

" It is a graceful way to record gratitude," said the Doctor, who 
liked to think that the practice could be extended to other re- 
miniscences. 

" I must have my servant and my books, my pipes and my Spitz 
terrier. I'll get a target up, besides, on that cherry-tree, and practise 
pistol-shooting as I sit here. Could you find out some idle fellow who 
would play chess or ecarte with me — a curate or a priest — I'm not 
particular ; and when my man Holt comes, I'll make him string my 
grass-mat hammock between those two elms, so that I can fish with- 
out the bore of standing up for it. Holt is a rare clever fellow, and 
you'll see how he'll get things in order here before he's a day in the 
place." 

The Doctor smiled again, for he saw that his patient desired to be 
deemed a marvel of resources and a mine of original thought. The 
Doctor's smile was apportioned to his conversation, just as he added 
syrups in his prescriptions. It w-as, as he himself called it, the 
"vehicle," without special efficacy in itself, but it aided to get down 
the " active principle." But he did more than smile. He promised 
all possible assistance to carry out his patient's plans. He was almost 
certain that a friend of his — an old soldier, too — a Major M'Cormick 
— could play ecarte, though, perhaps, it might be cribbage ; and then 
i'ather Cody, he could answer for it, was wonderful at skittles, 
though, for the present, that game might not be practicable ; and as 
lor books, the library at Woodstay was full of them, if the key could 



"iO i!.vina>'r.TOX. 

only be come at, for tlie family was abroad ; and, in fact, be displayed 
a most generous willingness to oblige, althongb, when brougbt to tbe 
rucie test of reality, bis pictures were only dissolving views of plea- 
sures to come. 

When be took bis leave at last, lie left Conyers in far better spirits 
than be found bim. Tbe young fellow bad begun to castle build about 
bow be sbould pass bis time, and in sucbarebitecture tbere is no room 
for ennui. And what a rare organ must constructiveness be, wben even 
in its mockery it can yield such pleasure! We are very prone to 
envy tbe ricb man, whose wealth sets no limit to bis caprices ; but is 
not a rich fancy, that wondrous imaginative power wbicb unweariedly 
invents new incidents, new personages, new situations, a very covetable 
possession ? And can we not, in tbe gratification of tbe very bumbiesfc 
exercise of this quality, rudely approximate to tbe ecstasy of bim who 
wields it in all its force ? Not that Fred Conyers was one of these ; 
be was a mere tyro in tbe faculty, and could only carry himself into 
a region where be saw bis Spitz terrier jump between tbe back rails 
of a chair, and himself sending bullet after bullet tlirougb tbe very 
centre of tbe bull's-eye. 

Be it so. Perliaps you and I, too, my reader, have our Spitz terrier 
and bull's-eye days, and, if so, let us be gi\ateful for them. 



CHAPTER XI. 



Tiir, Docrons daugiitep.. 



A\"iiETiiEU it was that Doctor Dill expended all tbe benevolence of 
bis disposition in tbe course of bis practice, aqd came borne utterly 
exhausted, but so it was that bis f;amily never saw bim in those moods- 
of blandness wbicb be invariably appeared in to bis patients. In fact,. 
however loaded be went forth with these wares of a morning, be dis- 
posed of every item of liis stock before be got back at night; and 
wben poor Mrs. Dill lieard, as she from time to time did bear, of the 
Doctor's gentleness, bis kindness in sufFering, bis beautiful and touch- 
ing sympathy with sorrow, she listened with the same sort of semi- 
stupid astonishment slie would have felt on bearing some one eulo- 
gising tiic climate of Ireland, and growing rapturous about tbe blue 
sky and tlie glorious sunshine. I^nbappy little woman, she only saw 
him in bis dark days of cloud and rain, and she never came into bis 



13AETinS'GT0X. 47 

presence except iu a sort of moral mackintosh made for the worst 
weatlier. 

The Doctor's family consisted of seven children, but our concern 
is only with the two eldest — a son and a daughter. Tom was 
two years younger than his sister, who, at this period of our story, 
was verging on nineteen. He was an awkward, ungainly youth, 
large jointed, but weakly, with a sandy red head and a much-freckled 
face, just such a disparaging counterpart of his sister as a coarse 
American piracy often presents of one of our well-printed, richly- 
papered English editions. " It was all there," but all, unseemly, un- 
graceful, undignified; for Polly Dill was pretty. Her hair was 
auburn, her eyes a deep hazel, and her skin a marvel of transparent 
whiteness. Ton would never have hesitated to call her a very pretty 
girl if you had not seen her brother, but, having seen him, all the 
traits of her good looks sufiered in the same way that Grisi's Norma 
does from the horrid recollection of Paul Bedford's. 

After all, the resemblance went very little further than this "tra- 
vestie," for while he was a slow, heavy-witted, loutish creature, with 
low tastes and low ambitions, she was a clever, intelligent girl, very 
eagerly intent on making something of her advantages. Thougli the 
Doctor was a general practitioner, and had a shop, which he called 
" Surgery," in the village, he was received at the great houses in a sort 
of half-intimate, half-patronising fashion ; as one, in short, with whom 
it was not necessary to be formal, but it might become very incon- 
venient to have a coldness. These were very sorry credentials for 
acceptance, but he made no objection to them, 

A few, however, of the '"' neighbours" — it would be ungenerous to 
inquire the motive, for in this W'orld of ours it is just as well to 
regard one's five-pound note as convertible into five gold sovereigns, 
and not speculate as to the kind of rags it is made of — were pleased 
to notice Miss Dill, and occasionally invite her to their larger 
gatherings, so that she not only gained opportunities of cultivating 
her social gifts, but, what is often a greater spur to ambition, of com- 
paring them with those of others. 

jSTow this same measuring process, if only conducted witliout any 
envy or ungenerous rivalry, is not without its advantage. Polly 
Dill made jt really profitable. I will not presume to say that, in her 
laeart of hearts, she did not envy the social accidents that gave others 
precedence before her, but into her heart of hearts neither you nor 
I have any claim to enter. Enough that we know nothing in her 
outward conduct or bearing revealed such a sentiment. As little 
did she maintain her position by flattery, which many in her am- 



IS HAUKINCTON. 

biguous station woukl have relied iipou as a strougliold. No ; Polly 
followed a very simple policy, wlucli was all tlie more successful 
that it never seemed to be a policy at all. She never in any way 
attracted towards ber the attentions of those men who, in the 
marriageable market, were looked on as the choice lots ; squires in 
possession, elder sons, and favourite nephews, she regarded as so 
much forbidden fruit. It was a lottery, in which she never took a 
ticket. It is incredible how much kindly notice and favourable 
recognition accrued to her from this line. 

TVe all know how pleasant it is to be next to the man at a pro- 
miscnous dinner wbo never eats turtle nor cares for " Cliquot ;" 
and in the world at large there are people who represent the cala- 
pash and the champagne. 

Then Polly played well, but was quite as ready to play as to 
dance. She sang prettily, too, and bad not the slightest objection 
that one of her simple baliad.s should be the foil to a grand perform- 
ance of some young lady, whose artistic agonies rivalled Alboui's. 
So cleverly did Polly do all this, that even her father could not dis- 
cover the secret of her success ; and though he saw " his little girl," as 
lie called her, more and more sought after and invited, he continued 
to be persuaded that all this favouritism was only the reflex of his 
own popularity. How, then, could mere acquaintances ever suspect 
what to the eye of those nearer and closer was so inscrutable ? 

Polly Dill rode very well and very fearlessly, and occasionally was 
assisted to "amount" by some country gentleman, wbo combined 
gallantry with profit, and knew that the horse he lent could never be 
seen to greater advantage, let. even in this, she avoided display, 
quite satisfied, as it seemed, to enjoy herself thoroughly, and not 
attract any notice that could be avoided. Indeed, she never tried 
ibr " a place," but rather attached herself to some of the older and 
lieavier weights, who grew to believe that they were especially in 
charge of her, and nothing was more common, at the end of a hard 
run, than to hear such self-gratulations as, " I think I took great 
care of you, Miss Dill?" "Eh, Miss Polly! you see I'm not such a 
bad leader !" and so on. 

Such was the Doctor's "little girl," whom I am about to present 
to my readers under another aspect. She is at home, dressed in a 
neatly-fitting but very simple cotton dress, her hair in two plain 
bands, and she is seated at a table, at the opposite of which loun/res 
her brother Tom, with an air of dogged and sleepy indolence, wliici) 
extends from his ill-trimmed hair to his ill-buttoned waistcoat. 

" Never mind it to-da^^ Polly," said he_. with a yawn. " I've boeij 



BAEEINOTON. 49 

UD all night, and have no head for work. There's a good girl, let's 
have a chat instead." 

'• Impossible, Tom," said she, calmly, but with decision. " To-day- 
is the third. You have only three weeks now and two days be- 
fore your examination. We have all the bones and ligaments to 
go over again, and the whole vascular system. You've forgotten 
every word of Harrison." 

" It doesn't signify, Polly. They never take a fellow on anything 
but two arteries for the navy. Grove told me so." 

" Grove is an ass, and got plucked twice. It is a perfect disgrace 
to quote him." 

" AVell, I only wish I may do as well. He's assistant-surgeon to 
the Taitrus gun-brig on the African station ; and if I was there, it's 
little I'd care for the whole lot of bones and balderdash." 

" Come, don't be silly. Let us go on with the scapula. Describe 
the glenoid cavity." 

" If you were the girl you might be, I'd not be bored with all this 
stupid trash, Polly." 

" What do you mean? I don't understand you." 

" It's easy enough to understand me. You are as tliick as thieves, 
you and that old Admiral — that Sir Charles Cobham. I saw you 
talking to the old fellow at the meet the other morning. You've only 
to say, ' There's Tom — my brother Tom — wants a navy appointment ; 
he's not passed yet, but if the fellows at the Board got a hint, just 
as mucli as, " Don't be hard on him " ' " 

" I'd not do it to make you a post-captain. Sir," said she, severely. 
" You very much overrate my influence, and very much underrate my 
integrity, when you ask it." 

" Hoity-toity ! ain't we dignified ! So you'd rather see me plucked, 
eh?" 

"Yes, if that should be the only alternative." 

" Thank you, Polly, that's all ; thank you," said he, and he drew 
his sleeve across his eyes. 

" My dear Tom," said she, laying her white soft hand on his coarse 
brown fingers, " can you not see that if I even stooped to anything 
so unworthy, that it would compromise your whole prospects in 
life? You'd obtain an assistant-surgeoncy, and never rise above it." 

" And do I ask to rise above it ? Do I ask anything beyond 
ceiting out of thir, house, and earning bread that is not grudged 
Via ? ' 

" Kay, nay ; if you talk that way, I've done." 

" Well, I do talk that way. He sent me ofi" to Kilkenny last week 

£ 



60 BAKKINaiON. 

— you saw it yourself — to bring out that trash for the shop, and ne 
wouldn't paj' tl)e car liire, and made me carry two stone of carbonate 
of magnesia and a jar of leeches fourteen miles. Tou were just taking 
that post and rail out of IS'ixon's lawn as I came by. You saw me 
well enough." 

"I am glad to say I did not," said she, sighing. 

" I saw you, then, and how that grey carried you ! You were waving 
a handkcrcliief in your hand ; what was that for V 

" It was to show Ambrose Jiushe that the ground was good ; he was 
afraid of being staked !" 

" That's exactly what I am. I'm afraid of being ' staked up' at the 
Hall, and if yo«'d take as much trouble about your brother as you 
did for Ambrose Bushe " 

" Tom, Tom, I have taken it for eight weary months. I beliere I 
know Bell on the bones, and Harrison on the arteries, by heart!" 

"Who thanks you?" said he, doggedly. " AVhen you read a thing 
twice you never forget it ; but it's not so with me?'' 

" Try what a little work will do, Tom ; be assured there is not half 
as much disparity between people's brains as there is between their 
industry." 

" I'd rather have luck than either, I know that. It's the only thing 
after all." 

She gave a very deep sigh, and leaned her head on her hand. 

"Work and toil as hard as you may," continued he, witb all the 
fervour of one on a favourite tlieme, " if you haven't luck you'll be 
beaten. Can you deny that, Polly ?'* 

" If you allow me to call merit what you call luck, I'll agree with 
you. But I'd much rather go on with our work. What is the in- 
sertion of the deltoid ? I'm sure you know^ tliat .'" 

" The deltoid ! the deltoid !" muttered he. " I forget all about 
the deltoid, but of course it's like the rest of them. It's inserted 
into a ridge, or a process, or whatever you call it " 

" Oh, Tom, this is very hopeless. How can you presume to face 
your examiners with such ignorance as this ?" 

" I'll tell you what I'll do, Polly— Groves told me le did it— if I 
lind my pluck failing me, I'll have a go of brandy before I go in." 

She found it very hard not to laugh at the solemn gravity of this 
speech, and just au hard not to cry as she looked at him who snoke 
it. At the same moment Doctor Dill oj)ened the door, calliv.;sr out 
sharply, " AVhere's tliat fellow Tom? Who has seen \\:rx l/ns 
mornii)'': r" 




^ // 



BAEUINGTOK. 51 

" He's here, papa," said Polly. " "We are brushing up the anatomy 
for the last time." 

"His head must be in capital order for it, after his night's exploit. 
I heard of you, Sir, and your reputable wager. Noonan was up here 
this morning with the whole story !" 

" I'd have won if they'd not put snuff" in the punch " 

" Tou are a shameless hound " 

" Oh, papa ! If you knew how he was working — how eager he is 
to pass his examination, and be a credit to us all, and owe his inde- 
pendence to himself " 

" I know more of him than you do, Miss — far more, too, than he is 
aware of — and I know something of myself also ; and I tell him now, 
that if he is rejected at the examination, he need not "come back here 
with the news." 

" And where am I to go, then ?" asked the yoimg feilow, half 
insolently. 

" Tou may go " "Where to, the Doctor was not suifered to in- 
dicate, for already Polly had thrown herself into his arms and arrested 
the speech. 

" Well, I suppose I can 'list ; a fellow need not know much about 
gallipots for that." As he said this, he snatched up his tattered old 
cap and made for the door, 

" Stay, Sir ! I have business for you to do," cried Dill, sternly. 
" There's a young gentleman at the ' Fisherman's Home' laid up with 
a bad sprain. I have prescribed twenty leeches on the part. Go down 
and apply them." 

"Tliat's what old Molly Day lised to do," said Tom, angrily. 

" Yes, Sir, and knew more of the occasion tliat required it than you 
will ever do. See that you apply them all to the outer ankle, and 
attend well to the bleeding ; the patient is a young man of rank, with 
whom you had better take no liberties." 

"If I go at all " 

" Tom, Tom, none of this !" said Polly, who drew very close to him, 
and looked up at him with eyes full of tears. 

" Am I going as your son this time ? or did you tell him — as you 
told Mr. Nixon — that you'd send your young man ?" 

" There ! listen to that !" cried the Doctor, turning to Polly. " I 
hope you are proud of your pupil." 

She made no answer, but whispering some hurried words in her 
brother's ear, and pressing at the same time something into his hand, 
she shuffled him out of the room, and closed the door, 

e2 



52 baerij;gxok'. 

The Doctor now paced the room, so engrossed by passion that 
he forgot he was not aloue, and uttered threats and mumbled out dark 
predictions with a fearful energy. Meanwliile, Polly put by the books 
and drawings, and removed everything which might recal the late 
misadventure. 

" What's your letter about, papa ?" said she, pointing to a square- 
sliaped envelope which he still held in. his liand. 

" Oil, by the way," said he, quietly, " this is from Cobham. Tliey 
ask us up there to dinner to-day, and to stop the night." The Doctor 
tried very hard to utter this speech with the unconcern of one alluding 
to some every-day occurrence. Nay, he did more, he endeavoured to 
throw into it a certain air of fastidious weariness, as though to 
say, " See how these people will have me ; mark how they persecute 
me with their attentions !" 

Polly understood the "situation" perfectly, and it was with actual 
curiosity in her tone she asked, " Do you mean to go. Sir ?" 

"I suppose we must, dear," he said, with a deep sigh. "A pro- 
fessional man is no more tlie arbiter of his social hours than of his 
business ones. Cooper always said dining at home costs a thousand 
a year." 

" So much, papa ?" asked she, with much semblance of innocence. 

" I don't mean to myself," said he, reddening, "nor to any physi- 
cian in country practice ; but we all lose by it, more or less." 

Polly, meanwhile, had taken the letter, and was reading it over. 
It was very bi'ief. It had been originally begun, " Lady Cobham 
presents," but a pen was run through the words, and it ran : 

" Dear Doctor Dill, — If a short notice will not inconvenience 
you, will you and your daughter dine here to-day at seven ? There 
is no moon, and we shall expect you to stay the night. 

" Truly yours, 

" Geoegiana Cobham:. 

"Tlie Admiral hopes Miss D. will not forget to bring her music." 

" Then we go, Sir ?" asked she, with eagerness, for it was a house 
"to which she had never yet been invited, though she had long wished 
for the entree. 

" I shall go, certainly," said he. " As to you, there will be the old 
discussion with your mother as to clothes, and the usual declaration 
that you have really nothing to put on." 

" Oh ! but I liave, papa. My wonderful-worked muslin, that was 
to have astonished the world at the race ball, but which arrived too 



BAr^RiyoTO'. 53 

,ate, is now quite ready to captivate all beholders; and I have just 
learned that new song, " Where's the slave so lowly ?" which I 
mean to give with a most rebellious fervour; and, in fact, I am 
dying to assault this same fortress of Cobham, and see what it is like 
inside the citadel." 

" Pretty much like Woodstay, and the Grove, and Mount Eelly, 
and the other places we go to," said Dill, pompously. " The same 
sort of rooms, the same sort of dinner, the same company ; nothing 
different but the liveries." 

" Very true, papa ; but there is always an interest in seeing how 
people behave in their own house, whom you have never seen except 
in strangers'. I have met Lady Cobham at the Beachers', where she 
scarcely noticed me. I am curious to see what sort of reception she 
will vouchsafe me at home." 

" "Well, go and look after your things, for we have eight miles to 
drive, and Billy has already been at Dangan and over to Mooney's 
Mills, and he's not the fresher for it." 

" I suppose I'd better take my hat and habit, papa ?" 

" What for, child ?" 

" Just as you always carry your lancets, papa — you don't know 
what may turn up." And she was off before he could answer her. 



CHAPTEE VII. 

TOM dill's first PATIENT. 

Before Tom Dill had set out on his errand he had learned all 
about his father and sister's dinner engagement, nor did the contrast 
with the way in which his own time was to be passed at all improve 
his temper. Indeed, he took the opportunity of intimating to his 
mother how few favours fell to her share or his own — a piece of in- 
formation she very philosophically received, all her sympathies being 
far more interested for the sorrows of " Clarissa Harlowe" than for 
any incident that occurred around her. Poor old lady ! she had read 
that story over and over again, till it might seem that every word and 
every comma in it had become her own ; but she was blessed with a 
memory that retained nothing, and she could cry over the sorrowful 
bits, and pant with eagerness at the critical ones, just as passionately, 



54 UARIUNGTOX. 

just as ferveutl}', as she had done for years aud years before. Dim, 
vague perceptions she might have retained of the personages, but 
these only gave them a stronger truthfulness, and made them more 
like the people of tue real world, whom she bad seen passingly once, 
aud was now to learu more about. I doubt if Mezzofauti ever 
derived one-tenth of the pleasure from all his marvellous memory 
that she did from the want of one. 

Blessed with that one book, she was proof against all the common 
accidents of life. It was her sanctuary against duns, and difficulties, 
and the Doctor's temper. As the miser feels a sort of ecstasy in the 
secret of his hoarded wealth, so had she an intense enjoyment in 
tliinking tiiat all dear Clarissa's trials and sufferings were only known 
to her. Neither the Doctor, nor Polly, nor Tom, so much as sus- 
pected thein. It was like a confidence between Mr. Erichardson and 
herself, aud for nothing on earth would she have betrayed it. 

Tom had no such resources, and lie set out on his mission with no 
very remarkable good feeling towards the world at large. Still, 
Polly had pressed into his hand a gold half guinea — some very long- 
treasured keepsake, the birthday gift of a godmother in times remote, 
and now to be converted iuto tobacco and beer, and some articles of 
fishing gear which he greatly needed. 

Seated in one of those light canoe-shaped skifl^'s — '"cots" as they 
are called on these rivers — he suffered himself to be carried lazily 
along by the stream, while he tied his flies and adjusted his tackle. 
There is sometimes a stronger sense of unhappiness attached to wbat 
is called being " hardly used" by the world, than to a direct and pal- 
pable misfortune, for though the sufferer may not be able, even to his 
own heart, to set out, with clearness, one single count in the indict- 
ment, yet a general sense of hard treatment, imfairness, and' so forth, 
brings witli it great depression, aud a feeling of desolation. 

Like all young i'cllows of his stamp, Tom only saw his inflictions, 
not one of his transgressions. He knew that his father made a 
common drudge of him, employed him in all that was wearisome and 
even menial in his craft, admitted him to no confidences, gave him no 
counsels, and treated him in every way like one who was never 
destined to rise above the meanest cares and lowest duties. Even 
those little fleeting glances at a brighter future which Polly would 
now and then open to his ambition, never came from his father, who 
would actually ridicule the notion of his obtaining a degree, and 
make tlie thought of a commissiou in the service a subject for 
mockery. 

He was low in heart as he thought over these things. " If it were 



BABEINGTON. 55 

not for Polly," so he said to himself, " he'd go and enlist ;" or, as his 
boat slowly floated into a dark angle of the stream, where the water 
was still and the shadow deep, he even felt he could do worse. 
" Poor Polly !" said he, as he moved his hand to and fro in the cold 
clear water, " you'd be very, very sorry for me. Tou, at least, knew 
that I was not all bad, and that I wanted to be better. It was no 
fault of mine to have a head that couldn't learn. I'd be clever if I 
could, and do everything as well as she does ; but when they see that 
I have no talents, that if they put the task before me I canuot master 
it, sure they ought to pity me, not blame me." And then he bent 
over the boat and looked down eagerly into the water, till, by long 
dint of gazing, he saw, or he thought he saw, the gravelly bed be- 
neath ; and again he swept his hand through it — it w^as cold, and 
caused a slight shudder. Then suddenly, with some fresh impulse, 
he threw off" his cap, and kicked his shoes from him. His trembling 
hands buttoned and unbuttoned his coat with some infirm, uncertain 
purpose. He stopped and listened ; he heard a sound ; there was 
some one near — quite near. He bent down and peered under the 
branches that hung over the stream, and there he saw a very old and 
infirm man, so old and infirm that he could barely creep. He had 
been carrying a little bundle of fagots for firewood, and the cord had 
given way, and his burden fallen, scattered, to the ground. This 
was the noise Tom had heard. Eor a few minutes the old man 
seemed overwhelmed with his disaster, and stood motionless, con- 
templating it ; then, as it were, taking coiu-age, he laid down his 
stafi', and bending on his knees, set slowly to work to gather up his 
fagots. 

There are minutes in the lives of all of us when some simple inci- 
dent will speak to our hearts with a force that human words never 
carried — when the most trivial event will teach a lesson that all our 
wisdom never gave us. " Poor old fellow," said Tom, " he has a stout 
heart left to him still, and he'll not leave his load behind him !" And 
then his own craven spirit flashed across him, and he hid his face in 
his hand and cried bitterly. 

Suddenly rousing himself with a sort of convulsive shake, he sent 
the skiff with a strong shove in shore, and gave the old fellow what 
remained to him of Polly's present ; and then, with a lighter spirit 
than he had known for many a day, rowed manfully on his way. 

The evening — a' soft, mellow, summer evening — was just falling as 
Tom reached the little boat quay at the " Fisherman's Home" — a spot 
it was seldom his fortune to visit, but one for whose woodland beauty 
and trim comfort ^e had a deep admiration. He would have liked to 



56 liAKEiyGTOK. 

have lingered a little to inspect the boat-house, and the little aviary 
over it, and the small cottage on the island, and the little terrace made 
to fish from, but Darby had caught sight of him as he landed, and 
came hurriedly down to say that the young gentleman was grow- 
ing very impatient for his coming, and was even hinting at sending 
for another doctor if he should not soon appear. 

If Conyers was as impatient as Darby represented, he had at least 
surrounded himself with every appliance to allay the fervour of that 
spirit. He had dined under a spreading sycamore-tree, and now sat 
with a table richly covered before him. Pruit, flowers, and wine 
abounded with a profusion that might have satisfied several guests, 
for, as he understood that he was to consider himself at an inn, he 
resolved, by ordering the most costly things, to give the house all tho 
advantage of his presence. The most delicious hothouse fruit had 
been procured from the gardener of an absent proprietor in the neigh- 
bourhood, and several kinds of wine figured on the table, over which, 
and half shadowed by the leaves, a lamp had been suspended, tlu*ow- 
ing a fitful light over all, that imparted a most picturesque eifect to 
the scene. 

And yet, amidst all these luxuries and delights, Balshazzar was 
discontented ; his ankle pained him ; he had been hobbling about on 
it all day, and increased the inflammation considerably ; and, besides 
this, he was lonely ; he had no one but Darby to talk to, and had 
grown to feel for that sapient functionary a perfect abhorrence. His 
everlasting compliance, his eternal coincidence with everything, being 
a torment infinitely worse than the most dogged and mulish opposi- 
tion. "When, therefore, he heard at last that the Doctor's son had 
come with the leeches, he hailed him as a welcome guest. 

"What a time you have kept me waiting," said he, as the loutish 
young man came forward, so astounded by the scene before him 
that he lost all presence of mind. " I have been looking out for 
you since three o'clock, and pottering down to the river and back so 
often, that I have made the leg twice as thick again." 

" Why didn't you sit quiet?" said Tom, in a hoarse, husky tone. 

" Sit quiet !" replied Conyers, staring hjilf angrily at him ; and then 
as quickly perceiving tliat no impertinence had been intended, which 
the other's changing colour and evident confusion attested, he begged 
liim to take a chair and fill his glass. " That next you is some sort 
of Ehiue wine ; this is sherry ; and here is the very best claret I ever 
tasted." 

" Well, I'll take that," said Tom ; who, accepting the recommenda- 
tion amidst luxuries all new and strange to him, proceeded to fill Ins 



BAERINGTON. 57 

glass, but so tremblingly, that he spilled the wine all about the table, 
and then hurriedly wiped it up with his handkerchief. 

Conyers did his utmost to set his guest at his ease. He passed 
his cigar-case across the table, and led him on, as well as he might, 
to talk. But Tom was awe- struck, not alone by the splendours 
around him, but by the condescension of his host, and he could not 
divest himself of the notion that he must have been mistaken for 
somebody else, to whom all these blandishments might be rightfully 
due. 

"Are you fond of shooting ?" asked Conyers, trying to engage a 
conversation. 

" Tes," was the curt reply. 

" There must be good sport hereabouts, I should say. Is the game 
well preserved ?" 

" Too well for such as me. I never get a shot without the risk of 
a gaol, and it would be cheaper for me to kill a cow than a wood- 
cock !" There was a stern gravity in the way he said this that 
made it irresistibly comic, and Conyers laughed out in spite of 
himself. 

" Haven't you a game license ?" asked he. 

" Haven't I a coach-and-six ? Where would I get four pounds 
seven and ten to pay for it ?" 

The appeal was awkward, and for a moment Conyers was silent. 
At last he said, "Ton fish, I suppose ?" 

" Tes ; I kill a salmon whenever I get a quiet spot that nobody 
sees me, and I draw the river now and then with a net at night." 

" That's poaching, I take it." 

" It's not the worse for that !" said Tom, whose pluck was by this 
time considerably assisted by the claret. 

" Well, it's an unfair way to take fish, at all events, and destroys 
real sport." 

" Eeal sport is filling your basket." 

" No, no ; there's no real sport in doing anything that's unfair — 

anything that's un " He stopped short, and swallowed off" a 

glass of wine to cover his confusion. 

" That's all mighty fine for you, who not only can pay for a license, 
but you're just as sure to be invited here, there, and everywhere 
there's game to be killed. But think of me, that never snaps a cap, 
never throws a line, but he knows it's worse than robbing a hen-roost, 
and often, maybe, just as fond of it as yourself!" 

Whether it was that, coming after Darby's mawkish and servile 
agreement with everything, this rugged nature seemed more palatable, 



•58 BARItlKGTON. 

1 canuot say, but so it was, Conyers felt pleasure in talking to tliis 
rough, unpolished creature, and licaring his opinions in turn. Had 
there been in Tom Dill's manner the slightest shade of any pretence, 
was there any element of that which, for want of a better word, we 
call '' Snobbery," Conyers would not have endured him for a moment, 
but Tom was perfectly devoid of this vulgarity. He was often coarse 
in his remarks, his expressions were rarely measured by any rule of 
good manners, but it was easy to see that he never intended ofience, 
nor did he so much as suspect that he could give that weight to any 
opinion which he uttered to make it of moment. 

Besides these points in Tom's favour, there was another, which also 
led Conyers on to converse with him. There is some very subtle 
self-flattery in the condescension of one well to do in all the gifts of 
fortune associating, in an assumed equality, with some poor fellow to 
whom fate has assigned the shady side of the highway. Scarcely a 
subject can be touched without suggesting something for self-gratu- 
lation ; every comparison, every contrast is in his favour, and Conyers, 
without being more of a puppy than the majority of his order, con- 
stantly felt how immeasui'ably above all his guest's views of his life 
and the world were his own. Not alone that he Avas more moderate 
in language and less prone to attribute evil, but with a finer sense of 
honour and a wider feeling of liberality. 

When Tom at last, with some shame, I'emembered that he had for- 
gotten all about the real object of his mission, and had never so much 
as alluded to the leeches, Conyers only laughed, and said, " Never 
mind them, to-night. Come back to-morrow and put them on; and 
mind — come to breakfast at ten or eleven o'clock." 

" What am I to say to my father ?" 

" Say it was a whim of mine, which it is. You are quite ready to 
do this matter now. I see it ; but I say no. Isn't that enough ?" 

" I suppose so !" muttered Tom, with a sort of dogged misgiving. 

" It strikes me that you have a very respectable fear 'of your 
governor. Am I right ?" 

"Ain't you afraid of yours ?" bluntly asked the other. 

" Afraid of mine !" cried Conyers, with a loud laugh ; " I should 
think not. Why, my father and myself are as thick as two thieves. 
I never was in a scrape that I didn't tell him. I'd sit down this 
minute and write to him just as I would to any fellow in the regi- 
ment." 

"Well, there's only one in all the world I'd tell a secret to, and it 
isn't my father !" 

" Who is it, then ?" 



BARKIXGTON. 59 

" My sister Polly !" It was impossible to have uttered these words 
with a stronger sense of pride. He dwelt slowly upon each of them, 
and, when he had finished, looked as though he had said something 
utterly undeniable. 

'• Here's her health — in a bumper, too !" cried Conyers. 

" Hurray — hurray !" shouted out Tom, as he tossed off his full 
glass, and set it on the table with a bang that smashed it. " Oh, I 
beg pardon ! I didn't mean to break the tumbler." 

" Never mind it. Dill ; it's a trifle. I half hoped you had done it 
on purpose, so that the glass should never be drained to a less 
honoured toast. Is she like you V 

"Like me- — like meV asked he, colouring deeply. "Polly like 
.■iieV 

" I mean, is there a family resemblance ? Could }■ ou be easily 
known as brother and sister ?" 

" Not a bit of it. Polly's the prettiest girl in this county, and she's 
better than she's handsome. There's nothing she can't do. I taught 
her to tie flies, and she can put wings on a green-drake now that 
would take in any salmon that ever swam. Martin Keene sent her 
a pound-note for a book of ' brown hackles,' and, by the way, she 
gave it to me. And if you saw her on the back of a horse ! — Ambrose 
Bushe's grey mare, the wickedest devil that ever was bridled, one 
buck jump after another the length of a field, and the mare trying to 
get her head between her fore-legs, and Polly handling her so quiet, 
never out of temper, never hot, but always saying, ' Ain't you ashamed 
of yourself. Dido ? Don't you see them all laughing at us ?' " 

" I'm quite curious to see her. "Will you present me one of these 
days ?" 

Tom nuimbled out something perfectly unintelligible. 

" I hope that I may be permitted to make her acquaintance," re- 
peated he, not feeling very certain that his former speech was quite 
understood. 

"Maybe so," grumbled he out at last, and sat back in his chair 
with a look of sulky ill humour ; for so it was that poor Tom, in his 
ignorance of life and its ways, deemed the proposal one of those free- 
and-easy suggestions which might be made to persons of very inferior 
station, and to whom the fact of acquaintanceship should be accounted 
as a great honour. 

Conyers was provoked at the little williugness shown to meet his 
offer — an ofter he felt to be a very courteous piece of condescension 
on his part — and now both sat in silence. At last Tom Dill, long 
htruggling with some secret impulse, gave way, and in a tone fiir 



CO BARRINGTON. 

more decided and firm than heretofore, said, " Maybe you think, from 
seeing what sort of a fellow I am, tliat my sister ouglit to be like 
me; and because /have neither manners nor education, that she's the 
same ? But listen to me, now ; she's just as little like me as you are 
yourself. You're not more of a gentleman than she's a lady!" 

"I never imagined anything else." 

"And wliat made you talk of bringing her up here, to present her 
to you, as you called it ? Was she to be trotted out in a cavasin, like 
a filly ?" 

"My dear fellow," said Conyers, good humouredly, "you never 
made a greater mistake. I begged that you would present me to 
your sister. I asked the sort of favour whicli is very common in the 
world, and in the language usually employed to convey such a request. 
I observed the recognised etiquette " 

" "What do /know about etiquette ? If you'd have said, ' Tom Dill, 
I want to be introduced to your sister,' I'd have guessed what you 
were at, and I'd have said, ' Come back in the boat with me to- 
morrow, and so you shall.' " 

" It's a bargain, then, Dill. I want two or three things in the 
village, and I accept your offer gladly." 

Not only was peace now ratified between them, but a closer feeling 
of intimacy established ; for poor Tom, not much spoiled by any 
excess of the world's sympathy, was so delighted by the kindly interest 
shown him, that he launched out freely to tell all about himself and 
his fortunes, how hardly treated he was at home, and how ill usage 
had made him despondent, and despondency made him dissolute. 
" It's all very well to rate a fellow about his taste for low pleasures 
and low companions; but what if he's not rich enough for better? 
He takes them just as he smokes cheap tobacco, because he can aff'ord 
no other. And do you know," continued he, " you are the first 
real gentleman that ever said a kind word to me, or asked me to sit 
down in his company. It's even so strange to me yet, tliat maybe 
when I'm rowing home to-night I'll think it's all a dream — that it was 
the wine got into my head." 

" Is not some of this your own fault ?" broke in Conyers. " What 
if you had held your head higher " 

"Hold my head higher!" interrupted Tom. "With this on it, 
eh ?" And he took up his ragged and worn cap from the ground, 
and showed it. " Pride is a very fine thing when you can live up to 
it; but if you can't, it's only ridiculous. I don't say," added he, 
after a few minutes of silence, " but if I w^as far away from this, 
where nobody knew me, where I didn't ow^e little debts on every 



BARRING TON. Gl 

side, and wasn't obliged to be intimate with every idle vagabond 
about — I don't say but I'd try to be something better. If, for 
instance, I could get into the navy " 

" Why not the army ? You'd like it better." 

" Ay ! but it's far harder to get into. There's many a rough fellow 
like myself aboard ship that they wouldn't take in a regiment. 
Besides, how could I get in without interest?" 

"My father is a Lieutenant- General. I don't know whether he 
could be of service to you." 

" A Lieutenant- General !" repeated Tom, with the reverential awe 
of one alluding to an actual potentate. 

" Yes. He has a command out in India, where I feel full sure he 
could give you something. Suppose you were to go out there? I'd 
write a letter to my father, and ask him to befriend you." 

" It would take a fortune to pay the journey," said Tom, despoud- 
ingly. 

" Not if you went out on service ; the Government would send 
you free of cost. And even if you were not, I think we might manage 
it. Speak to your father about it." 

" No," said he, slowly. " No ; but I'll talk it over with Polly. 
Not but I know well she'll say, ' There you are, castle-building and 
romancing. It's all moonshine ! Nobody ever took notice of you — 
nobody said he'd interest himself about you.' " 

" That's easily remedied. If you like it, I'll tell your sister all 
about it myself. I'll tell her it's my plan, and I'll show her what I 
think are good reasons to believe it will be successful." 

" Oh ! would you — would you ?" cried he, with a choking sensa- 
tion in the throat ; for his gratitude had made him almost hysterical. 

" Yes," resumed Conyers. " When you come up here to-morrow 
we'll arrange it all. I'll turn the matter all over in my mind, too, 
and I have little doubt of our being able to carry it through." 

" You'll not tell my father, though ?" 

" Not a word, if you forbid it. At the same, time you must see 
that he'll have to hear it all, later on." 

" I suppose so," muttered Tom, moodily, and leaned his head 
thoughtfully on his hand. But one half-hour back and he would 
have told Conyers why he desired this concealment ; he would have 
declared that his father, caring more for his services than his future 
good, would have thrown every obstacle to his promotion, and would 
even, if need were, so represented him to Conyers that he would have 
appeared utterly unworthy of his interest and kindness : but now, 
not one word of all this escaped him. He never hinted another re- 



G2 r.ARlUNGTOX. 

proacli ngainst his father, for already a purer spriug had opened in his 
nature, the rocky heart had been smitten by words of gentleness, 
and he would have revolted against tliat wliich should degrade him in 
his own esteem. 

" Good night," said Conyers, with a hearty shake of the hand, 
" and don't forget your breakfast engagement to-morrow." 

" AVhat'sthis r" said Tom, blushing deeply, as he found a crumpled 
bank-note in his palm. 

" It's your fee, my good fellow, that's all," said the other, laugh- 
ingly. 

" But I can't take a fee. I have never done so, I have no right 
to one. I am not a Doctor yet." 

"The very first lesson in your profession is not to anger your 
patient, and if you would not provoke me, say no more on this 
matter." There was a half semblance of haughtiness in these words 
that perhaps the speaker never intended ; at all events, he was quick 
enough to remedy the eft'ect, for he laid his hand good naturedly on 
the other's shoulder, and said, " For my sake, Dill — for my sake." 

" I wish I knew what I ought to do," said Tom, whose pale cheek 
actually trembled with agitation. " I mean," said he, in a shaken 
voice, " I wish I knew what would make you think best of me." 

" Do you attach so much value to my good opinion, then ?" 

"Don't you think I might ? When did I ever meet any one that 
treated me this way before ?" 

The agitation in which he uttered these words imparted such ;i 
semblance of weakness to him, that Conyers pressed him down into 
a chair, and filled up his glass with wine. 

" Take that off, and you'll be all right presently," said he, iu a 
kind tone. 

Tom tried to carry the glass to his lips, but his hand trembled so 
that he had to set it down on the table. 

"I don't know how to say it," began he, "and I don't know 
whether I ought to say it, but someliow I feel as if I could give my 
heart's blood if everybody would behave to me the way you do. I 
don't mean, mind you, so generously, but treating me as if" — as if — 
as if — " gulped he out at last, " as if I was a gentleman." 

" And why not ? As there is nothing in your station that should 
deny that claim, why sluiuld any presume to treat vou other- 
wise ?" 

" Because I'm not one !" blurted he out ; and covering his face with 
his hands, he sobbed bitterly. 

" Come, come, my poor fellow, don't be downhearted. I'm not 



BARllINGTOX. 6S 

mucli okler than yourself, but I've seen a good deal of life ; and, mark 
ovy worcls, the price a luan puts on liimself is the very highest pennv 
the \iov\d will ever bid for him ; he'll not always get that, but he'll 
never — no, never, get a farthing beyond it !" 

Tom stared vacantly at the speaker, not very sure whether he 
understood the speech, or that it had any especial application to him. 

" "When you come to know life as well as I do," continued Conyers, 
who had now launched into a very favourite theme, " you'll learn the 
truth of what I say. Hold your head liigh, and if the world desires 
to see you, it must at least look up !" 

"Ay, but it might laugh, too!" said Tom, with a bitter gravity, 
which considerably disconcerted the moralist, who pitched away his 
cigar impatiently, and set about selecting another. 

"I suspect I understand your nature. Tor," said he, after a 
moment or two, " I have rather a knack in reading people. Just 
answer me frankly a few questions." 

" Whatever you like," said the other, in a half sulky sort of 
manner. 

" Mind," said Conyers, eagerly, " as there can be no offence in- 
tended, you'll not feel any by whatever I may say." 

" Go on," said Tom, in the same dry tone. 

" Ain't you obstinate ?" 

" I am." 

" I knew it. "We had not talked half an hour together when I 
detected it, and I said to myself, ' That fellow is one so rooted in his 
own convictions, it is scarcely possible to shake him.' " 

" What next ?" asked Tom. 

"You can't readily forgive an injury; you find it very hard to 
pardon the man who has wronged you." 

"I do not ; if he didn't go on persecuting me I wouldn't think of 
him at all." 

" Ah, that's a mistake. Well, I know you better than you know 
yourself; you do keep up the memory of an old grudge — you can't 
help it." 

" May be so, but I never knew it." 

" Tou have, however, just as strong a sentiment of gratitude." 

" I never knew^ that either," muttered he ; "perhaps because it has 
had so little provocation!" 

" Bear in mind," said Conyers, who was rather disconcerted by the 
■want of concurrence he had met with, " that I am in a great measure 
referring to latent qualities — things which probably require time and 
circumstance to develop." 



G4 BAHEINQTON. 

" Ob, if that's it," said Dill, " I can no more object than I could 
if you talked to me about what is down a dozen fathoms in the earth 
under our feet. It may be granite, or it may be gold, for what I 
kuow, tlve only thing I see is the gravel before me." 

" I'll tell you a trait of your character you can't gainsay," said 
Conyers, who was growing more irritated by the opposition so un- 
expectedly met with, " and it is one you need not dig a dozen fathoms 
down to discover — you are very reckless." 

" Keckless — reckless — you call a fellow reckless that throws away 
his chance, I suppose ?" 

" Just so." 

" But what if he never had one ?" 

" Every man has a destiny ; every man has that m his fate wliich 
he may help to make or to mar as he inclines to. I suppose you 
admit that r" 

" I don't know," was the sullen reply. 

"Not kuow ? Surely you needn't be told such a fact to recog 
nise it !" 

"All I kuow IS this," said Tom, resolutely, "that I scarcely ever 
did anything in my life that it wasn't found out to be wrong, so that 
at last I've come to be pretty careless what I do, and if it wasn't for 

Polly — if it wasn't for Polly " He stopped, drew his sleeve 

across his eyes, and turned away, unable to finish. 

" Come, then," said Conyers, laying his hand aftectionately on the 
other's shoulder, " add my friendship to her love for you, and see if 
the two will not give you encouragement, for I mean to be your 
friend. Dill." 

" Do you ?" said Tom, with the tears in his eyes. 

" There's my hand on it." 



BABELNQTON. t$5 



CHAPTEE YIII. 

riNE ACQUAINTANCES. 

Thebe is a law of compensation even for the small tilings of tin's 
life, and, by the wise enactments of that law, hnman happiness, on tho 
whole, is pretty equally distributed. The rich man, probably, never felt 
one tithe of the enjoyment in his noble demesne tliat it yielded to 
some poor artisan who strolled through it on a holiday, and tasted at 
once the charms of a woodland scene with all the rapturous delight 
of a day of rest. 

Arguing from these premises, I greatly doubt if Lady Cobham, at 
the head of her great household, Avith her house crowded with distiu- 
guislied visitors, surrounded by every accessory of luxury and splen- 
dour, tasted anything approaching to the delight felt by one, the very 
humblest of her guests, and who for a brief twenty-four hours par- 
took of her liospitality. 

Polly Dill, with all her desire and ambition for notice amongst the 
great people of the county, had gone to this dinner-party with con- 
siderable misgivings. She only knew the Admiral in the hunting- 
field ; of her Ladyship, she had no knowledge whatever, save in a few 
dry sentences uttered to her from a carriage one day at " the meet," 
when the Admiral, with more sailor-like frankness than politeness, 
presented her by saying, " This is the heroine of the day's run, 
Doctor Dill's daughter." And to this was responded a stare through 
a double eye-glass, and a cold smile and a few still colder words, 
affecting to be compliment, but sounding far more like a correction 
and a rebuke. 

No wonder, then, if Polly's heart was somewhat fiiint about ap- 
proaching as a hostess one who could be so repelling as a mere 
acquaintance. Lideed, one less resolutely bent on her object would 
not have encountered all the mortification and misery her anticipa- 
tion pictured ; but Polly fortified herself by the philosophy that said, 
" There is but one road to this goal: I must either take that one, or 
abandon the journey." And so she did take it. 

Either, however, that she had exaggerated the grievance to her 
own mind, or that her Ladyship was more courteous at home than 
abroad, but Polly v.-as charmed with the kindness of her reception. 

F 



fi6 BAEEnrGTON. 

Lady Cobliam had shaken hands with her, asked her had she beea 
hunting lately, and was about to speak of her horsemanship to a grim 
old lady beside her, when the arrival of other guests cut short the 
compliment, and Polly passed on — her heart lightened of a great load 
— to mix with the general company. 

I have no doubt it was a pleasant country-house ; it was called 
the pleasantest in the county. On the present occasion it counted 
amongst its guests not only the great families of the neighbourhood, 
but several distinguished visitors from a distance, of wliom two at 
least are note-worthy — one, the great lyric poet ; the other, the first 
tragic actress of her age and country. The occasion w^hich assembled 
them was a project originally broached at the Admiral's table, and so 
frequently discussed afterwards tliat it matured itself into a congress. 
The plan was to get up theatricals for the winter season at Kilkenny, 
in which all the native dramatic ability should be aided by the first 
professional talent. Scarcely a country-house that could not boast 
of at least one promising performer. Euthven, and Campion, and 
Probart had in their several walks been applauded by the great in art, 
and there were many others who in the estimation of friends were 
just as certain of a high success. 

Some passing remark on Polly's good looks, and the suitability of 
her face and style for certain small characters in comedy — the pink- 
ribboned damsels who are made love to by smart valets — induced 
Lady Cobham to include her in her list ; and thus, on tliese meagre 
credentials, was she present. She did not want notice or desire 
recognition ; she was far too happy to be there, to hear, and see, and 
mark, and observe all around her, to care for any especial attention. 
If the haughty Arabellas and Georgianas who swept past her with- 
out so much as a glance, were not, in her own estimation, superior in 
personal attractions, she knew well that they were so in all the acci- 
dents of station and the advantages of dress ; and perhaps — who 
knows ? — the reflection was not such a discouraging one. 

No memorable event, no incident worth recording, marked her 
visit. In the world of such society the machinery moves with regu- 
larity and little friction. The comedy of real life is admirably played 
out by the well-bred, and Polly was charmed to see Avith what 
courtesy, what consideration, what deference, people behaved to each 
other ; and all without an eff"ort — perhaps without even a thought. 

It was on the following day, when she got home and sat beside her 
mother's chair, that she related all she had seen. Her heart was 
filled with joy, for, just as she was taking her leave. Lady Cobham 
had said, " You have been promised to us for Tuesday next, Mias 



BAUEINGTON. 67 

Dill. Pray don't forget it!" And now she was busily engaged in 
the cares of toilette ; and though it was a mere question of putting 
bows of a sky-blue ribbon on a muslin dress — one of those little 
travesties by which rustic beauty emulates ball-room splendour — to 
her eyes it assumed all the importance of a grand preparation, and 
one which she could not help occasionally rising to contemplate at a 
little distance. 

'• Won't it be lovely, mamma," she said, " with a moss-rose — a 
mere bud — on each of those bows ? But I haven't told you of how 
he sang. He was the smallest little creature in the world, and he 
tripped across the room with his tiny feet like a bird, and he kissed 
Lady Cobham's hand with a sort of old-world gallantry, and pressed a 
little sprig of jasmine she gave him to his heart — this way — and then 
he sat down to the piano. I thought it strange to see a man play !" 

" Efieminate — very," muttered the old lady, as she wiped her 
spectacles. 

"Well, I don't know, mamma — at least after a moment I lost all 
thought of it, for I never heard anything like his singing before. He 
had not much voice, nor, perhaps, great skill, but there was an ex- 
pression in the words, a rippling melody with which the verses ran 
from his lips, while the accompaniment tinkled on beside them, per- 
fectly rapturous. It all seemed as if words and air were begotten of 
the moment, as if, inspii'ed on the instant, he poured forth the verses, 
on which he half dwelt, while thinking over what was to follow, im- 
parting an actual anxiety as you listened, lest he should not be ready 
with his rhyme ; and through all there was a triumphant joy that 
lighted up his face and made his eyes sparkle with a fearless lustre, 
as of one who felt the genius that was within him, and could trust it." 
And then he had been so complimentary to herself, called her that 
charming little " rebel," after she had sung " Where's the Slave," and 
told her that until he had heard the words from her lips he did not 
know they were half so treasonable. " But, mamma, dearest, I have 
made a conquest — and such a conquest, the hero of the whole 
society — a Captain Stapylton, who did something, or captured some- 
body, at Waterloo — a bold dragoon, with a gorgeous pelisse all 
slashed with gold, and such a mass of splendour that he was quite 
dazzling to look upon." She went on, still very rapturously, to picture 
him. " Not very young — that is to say, he might be thirty-five, or 
perhaps a little more — tall, stately, even dignified in appearance, with 
a beard and moustache almost white — for he had served much in 
India, and he was dark-skinned as a native." And this fine soldier, 
so sought after and so courted, had been markedly attentive to her, 

f2 



G8 BAREINQTON. 

danced witli her twice, and promised slie should have his Arab, 
" Mahnioud," at her next visit to Cobham. It was very evident that 
his notice of her hud called forth certain jealousies from young ladies 
of higher social pretensions, nor was she at all indifferent to the peril 
of such sentiments, though she did not speak of them to her mother, 
for in good truth that worthy woman was not one to investigate a 
subtle problem, or suggest a wise counsel; not to say that her in- 
terests were far more deeply engaged lor Miss Harlowe than for her 
daughter Polly, seeing that in the one case every motive, and the 
spring to every motive, was familiar to her, while in the other she pos- 
sessed but some vague and very strange notions of what was told her. 
Clarissa had made a full confidence to her : she had wept out her 
sorrows on her bosom, and sat sobbing on her shoulder. Polly came 
to her with the frivolous narrative of a ball-room flirtation, which 
threatened no despair nor ruin to any one. Here were no heart- 
consuming miseries, no agonising terrors, no dreadful casualties that 
might darken a whole existence, and so Mrs. Dill scarcely followed 
Polly's story at all, and never with any interest. 

Polly went in search of her brother, but he had left home early that 
morning with the boat, no one knew whither, and the Doctor was 
in a towering rage at his absence. Tom, indeed, was so full of his 
success with young Conyers, that he never so much as condescended 
to explain his plans, and simply left a message to say, " It was likely 
he'd be back by dinner-time." Now Doctor Dill was not in one of 
his blandest humours. Amongst the company at Cobham, he had 
found a great physician from Kilkenny, plainly showing him that all 
his social sacrifices were not to his professional benefit, and that if 
colds and catarrhs were going, his own services would never be called 
in. Captain Stapylton, too, to whom Polly had presented him, told, 
him that he " feared a young brother ofiicer of his, Lieutenant Con- 
yers, had fallen into the hands of some small village practitioner, and 
that he would take immediate measures to get him back to head- 
quarters," and then moved off, without giving him the time for a cor- 
rection of the mistake. 

He took no note of his daughter's little triumphs, the admiration 
that she excited, or the flatteries that greeted her. It is true he did 
not possess the same means of measuring these that she had, and in 
all that dreary leisure which besets an unhonoured guest, he had 
ample time to mope, and fret, and moralise, as gloomily as might be. 
If, tlien, he did not enjoy himself on his visit, he came away from it 
soured and ill-humoured. 

He denounced "junketings" — by which unseemly title he desig- 



BAERTNGTON"- 69 

nated the late entertainment — as amusements too costly for persons 
of his means. He made a rough calculation — a very rough one — of all 
that the " precious tomfoolery" had cost : the turnpike which he had 
paid, and the perquisites to servants — which he had not : the expense 
of Polly's finery — a hazarded guess she would liave been charmed to 
have had confirmed ; and, ending the whole with a startling total, de- 
clared that a reign of rigid domestic economy must commence from 
that hour. The edict was something like what one reads from the 
French Grovernment, when about to protest against some licence of 
the press, and which opens by proclaiming that " the latitude hitherto 
conceded to public discussion has not been attended with those gra- 
tifying results so eagerly anticipated by the Imperial administration." 
Poor Mrs. Dill — like a mere journalist — never knew she had been en- 
joying blessings till she was told she had forfeited them for ever, and 
she heard with a confused astonishment that the household char.o-es 
would be still further reduced, and yet food and fuel and light be not 
excluded from the supplies. He denounced Polly's equestrianism as 
a most ruinous and extravagant pursuit. Poor Polly, whose field 
achievements had always been on a borrowed mount ! Tom was a 
scapegrace, whose debts would have beggared half a dozen families 
— wretched dog, to whom a guinea was a gold-mine ; and Mrs. Dill, 
unhappy Mrs. Dill, who neither hunted, nor smoked, nor played 
skittles, after a moment's pause, he told her that his hard-earned 
pence should not be wasted in maintaining a " circulating library." 
Was there ever injustice like this ? Talk to a man with one meal a day 
about gluttony, lecture the castaway at sea about not giving way to 
his appetites, you might just as well do so as preach to Mrs. Dill — with 
her one book, and who never wanted another — about the discursive 
costliness of her readings. 

Could it be that, like the cruel gaoler, who killed the spider the 
prisoner had learned to love, he had resolved to rob her of Clarissa ? 
The thought was so overwhelming that it stunned her ; and thus 
stupified, she saw the Doctor issue forth on his daily round, without 
venturing one word in answer. And he rode on his way — on that 
strange mission of mercy, meanness, of honest sympathy, or mock 
philanthropy, as men's hearts and natures make of it — and set out 
for the " Pisherman's Home." 



70 BAEEIXOTON. 



CIIAPTEE IX. 



A C O U N T r. Y D O C T O U. 



In a story, as in a voyage, one must occasionally travel with uncon- 
genial companions. Now I have no reason for hoping that any of 
my readers care to keep Doctor Dill's company, and yet it is with 
Doctor Dill we nuist now for a brief space foregather. He was on his 
way to visit his patient at the " Fisherman's Home," having started, 
intentionally very early, to be there before Stapylton could have 
interposed with any counsels of removing him to Kilkenny. 

The world in its blind confidence in medical skill, and its unbounded 
belief in certain practitioners of medicine, is but scantily just to the 
humbler members of the craft in regard to the sensitiveness with 
which they feel the withdrawal of a patient from their care, and the 
substitution of another physician. The Doctor, who has not only 
heard, but felt, Babington's adage, that the diflerence between a good 
physician and a bad one is only " the diflerence between a pound and 
a guinea," naturally thinks it a hard thing that his interests are to be 
sacrificed for a mere question of five per cent. He knows, besides, 
that tliey each work on the same materials with the same tools, and 
it can be only through some defect in his self-confidence that he can 
bring himself to believe that the patient's chances are not pretty 
much alike in his- hands or his rival's. 'Now Doctor Dill had no 
feelings of this sort ; no undervaluing of himself found a place in his 
nature. He regarded medical men as tax-gatherers, and naturally 
thought it mattered but little which received the impost ; and, thus 
reflecting, he bore no good will towards that gallant Captain, who, as 
we have seen, stood so well in his daughter's favour. Even hardened 
men of the world — old footsore pilgrims of life — have their prejudices, 
and one of these is to be pleased at thinking they had augured un- 
favourably of any one they had afterwards learned to dislike. It 
smacks so much of acutcness to be able to say, " I was scarcely pre- 
sented to him ; we had not exchanged a dozen sentences when I saw 
this, that, and t'other." Dill knew this man was overbearing, insolent, 
and oppressive, that he was meddlesome and interfering, giving advice 
unasked for, and presuming to direct where no guidance was re- 
quired. He suspected he was not a man of much fortune; he doubted 



IJARRIN^GTOX. 71 

he was a mau of good family. All bis airs of pretensions — very high 
and mighty they were — did not satisfy the Doctor. As he said 
himself, he was a very old bird, but he forgot to add that he had 
always lived in an extremely small cage. 

The Doctor had to leave his horse on the high road and take a 
small footpath, which led through some meadows till it reached the 
little copse of beech and ilex that sheltered the cottage and effectually 
hid it from all view from the road. The Doctor had just gained the 
last stile when he suddenly came upon a man repairing a fence, and 
whose labours were being overlooked by Miss Barrington. He had 
scarcely uttered his most respectful salutations, when she said, " It 
is, perhaps, the last time you will take that path through the Lock 
Meadow, Doctor Dill. We m.ean to close it up after this week." 

" Close it up, dear lady ! — a right of way that has existed Heaven 
knows liow long. I remember it as a boy myself." 

"Very probably. Sir, and what you say vouches for great anti- 
quity ; but things may be old and yet not respectable. Besides, it 
never was what you have called it — a right of way. If it was, where 
did it go to ?" 

" It went to the cottage, dear lady. The Home was a mill in those 
days." 

" Well, Sir, it is no longer a mill, and it will soon cease to be an 
inn." 

" Indeed, dear lady ! And am I to hope that I may congratulate 
such kind friends as you have ever been to me on a change of 
fortune ?" 

" Yes, Sir ; we have grown so poor that, to prevent utter destitu- 
tion, we have determined to keep a private station ; and, with refer- 
ence to that, may I ask you when this young gentleman could bear 
removal without injury ?" 

"I have not seen him to-day, dear lady; but, judging from the 
inflammatory symptoms I remarked yesterday, and the great nervous 

depression ' ' 

" I know nothiag abx)ut medicine. Sir ; but if the nervous depres- 
sion be indicated by a great appetite and a most noisy disposition, 
his ease must be critical." 
" Noise, dear lady !" 

" Yes, Sir ; assisted by your son, he sat over his wnne till past 
midnight, talking extremely loudly, and occasionally singing. They 
have now been at breakfast since ten o'clock, and you will very soon 
be able to judge by your own ears of the well-regulated pitch of tlie 
conversation." 



72 BAEEINGTON. 

" My son, Miss Dinah ! Tom Dill at breakfast here ?" 

" I don't know whether his name bo Tom or Harry, Sir, nor is ifc 
to the purpose ; but lie is a red-liaired youth, with a stoop iii the 
shoulders, and a much-abused cap." 

Dill groaned over a portrait which to him was a photograph. 

" I'll see to this, dear lady. This shall be looked into," muttered 
he, with the purpose of a man who pledged himself to a course of 
action ; and with this lie moved on. Nor had he gone many paces 
from the spot wlieu he heard the sound of voices, at first in some con- 
fusion, but afterwards clearly and distinctly. 

" I'll be hanged if I'd do it, Tom," cried the loud voice of Conyers. 
" It's all very fine talking about paternal authority and all that, and 
so long as one is a boy there's no help for it, but you and I are men. 
We have a right to be treated like men, haven't we ?" 

" I suppose so," muttered the other, half sulkily, and not exactly 
seeing what was gained by the admission. 

" AYell, that being so," resumed Conyers, " I'd say to the governor, 
* AVliat allowance are you going to make me ?' " 

" Did you do that w^ith your father ?" asked Tom, earnestly. 

" No, not exactly," stammered out the other. " There was not, 
in fact, any need for it, for my governor is a rare jolly fellow — 
such a trump ! What he said to me was, ' There's a cheque-book, 
George ; don't spare it.' " 

" Which was as mueli as to say, ' Draw what you like.' " 

"Yes, of course. He knew, in leaving it to my honour, there was 
no risk of my committing any excess ; so you see there was no neces- 
sity to make my governor ' book up.' But if I was in your place 
I'd do it. I pledge you my word I would." 

Toin only shook liis head very mournfully, and made no answer. 
He felt, and felt truly, that there is a worldly widdoiii learned only 
in poverty and in the struggles of narrow fortune, of which the well- 
to-do know absolutely nothing. Of what avail to talk to Inm of an 
unlimited credit, or a credit to be bounded only by a sense of honour ? 
It presupposed so much that Avas impossible, that he would have 
laughed if his heart had been but light enough. 

"Well, then," said Conyers, " if you haven't courage for this, let 
me do it — let me speak to your father." 

" What could you say to him r" asked Tom, doggedly. 

" Say to him ? — what could I say to him ?" repeated he, as he lighted 
a fresh cigar, and afiected to be eagerly interested in the process. 
" It's clear enough what I'd say to him." 

" Let us hear it, then," growled out Tom, for he had a sort of coarse 



bjlKrixqton'. 73 

eujoymeut .at the otlier's embarrassment. "I'll be the Dojtor uow, 
tiiid listen to you." And with this lie squared his chair full in front 
of Conyers, and crossed his arms imposingly on his chest. " Tou 
said you wanted to speak to me about my son Tom, Mr. Conyers; 
what is it you have to say ?" 

" AYell, I suppose I'd open the matter delicately, and perhaps 
adroitly. I'd say, ' I have remarked, Doctor, that your son is a 
young fellow of very considerable abilities ' " 

" For what ?" broke in Tom, huskily. 

" Come, j^ou're not to interrupt in this fashion, or I can't continue. 
I'd say something about your natural cleverness, and what a pity it 
would be if, with very promising talents, you should not have those 
fair advantages which lead a man to success in life. 

"And do you know what lie'cl say to all that ?" 

"No." 

" Well, I'll tell you. He'd say ' Bother !' Just ' bother.' " 

" What do you mean by ' bother ?' " 

" That what you were saying was all nonsense. That you didn't 
know, nor you never could know, the struggles of a man like himself, 
just to make the two ends meet — not to be rich, mind you, or lay by 
money, or have shares in this, or stocks in that, but just to live, and 
no more." 

" Well, I'd say, ' Give him a few hundred pounds, and start 
him.' " 

" A\^hy don't you say a few thousands? It would sound grander, 
and be just as likely. Cau't you see that everybody hasn't a Lieu- 
tenant- General for a father ? and that what you'd give for a horse — 
that would, maybe, be staked to-morrow — would, perhaps, be a for- 
tune for a fellow like me ? What's that I hear coming up the river ? 
That's tlie Doctor, I'm sure. I'll be off till he's gone." And with- 
out waiting to hear a word lie sprang from his chair and disappeai-ed 
in the wood. 

Doctor Dill only waited a few seconds to compose his features, 
somewhat excited by what he had overlieard ; and then cougliing 
loudly, to announce his approach, moved gravely along the gravel 
patli. 

"And how is my respected patient?" asked ho, blandly. "Is the 
inflammation subsiding, and are our pains diminished?" 

" My ankle is easier, if you mean that," said Conyers, bluntly. 

" Yes, much easier — much easier," said the Doctor, examining the 
limb ; " and our cellular tissue has less efl:usion, the sheaths of the 
tendons freer, and we are generally better. I perceive you have had 



74 "BA.REINOT0N. 

the leeches applied. Did Tom — my son — give you satisfoction ? 
Was he as attentive and as careful as you wished ?" 

" Yes, I liked him. I wish he'd come up here every day while I 
remain. Is there any objection to that arrangement ?" 

"None, dear Sir — none. His time is fully at your service; he 
ought to be working hard. It is true he should be reading eight or 
ten hours a day, for his examination ; but it is hard to persuade him 
to it. Young men will be young men !" 

" I hope so, with all my heart. At least, I, for one, don't want to 
be an old one. Will you do me a favour. Doctor ? and will you 
forgive me if I don't know how to ask it with all becoming delicacy ? 
I'd like to give Tom a helping liand. He's a good fellow — I'm certain 
he is. Will you let me send him out to India, to my father? He 
has lots of places to give away, and he'd be sure to find something to 
suit him. You have heard of General Conyers, perhaps, the political 
resident at Delhi ? That's my governor." In the hurry and rapidity 
with which he spoke, it was easy to see how he struggled with a sense 
of shame and confusion. 

Doctor Dill was profuse of acknowledgments ; he was even moved 
as he expressed his gratitude. " It was true," he remarked, " that 
his life had been signalled by these sort of graceful services, or rather 
offers of services ; for we are proud, if we are poor. Sir. ' Dill ant 
nil' is the legend of our crest, whicli means that we are ourselves or 
nothing." 

"I conclude everybody else is in the same predicament," broke in 
Conyers, bluntly. 

" Not exactly, young gentleman — not exactly. I think I could, 
perhaps, explain " 

" No, no ; never mind it. I'm the stupidest fellow in the world at 
a nice distinction ; besides, I'll take your Avord for the fact. You 
have heard of my father, haven't you ?" 

" I heard of him so late as last night, from a brother officer of 
yours, Captain Stapylton." 

" Where did you meet Stapylton," asked Conyers, quickly. 

" At Sir Charles Cobham's. I was presented to him by my daughter, 
and he made tlie most kindly inquiries after you, and said that, if 
possible, he'd come over here to-day to see you." 

" I hope he won't, that's all," muttered Conyers. Then, correcting 
himself suddenly, he said, " I mean, I scarcely know him ; he has only 
joined us a few months back, and is a stranger to every one in tho 
regiment. I hope you didn't tell him where I was." 

" I'm afraid that I did, for I remember his adding, ' Oh! I must 
carry him off. I must get him back to head-quarters.' " 



ibakhiis^gton. 75 

" Indeed ! Let iis see if he will. That's the style of these ' Com- 
pany's' officers — he was in some Native corps or other — they always 
fancy they can bully a subaltern ; but Black Stapylton will find him- 
self mistaken this time." 

" He was afraid that you had not fallen into skilful hands ; and of 
course it would not have come well from me to assure him of the 
opposite." 

""Well, but what of Tom, Doctor? You have given nie no 
answer." 

-' It is a case for reflection, my dear young friend, if I may be 
emboldened to call you so. It is not a matter I can say yes or no to 
on the instant. I have only two grown-up children : my daughtcM-, 
the most affectionate, tbe most thoughtful of girls, educated, too, in 
a way to grace any sphere " 

"Ton needn't tell me that Tom is a wild fellow," broke in 
Couyers — for he well understood the antithesis that was coming — 
" he owned it all to me, himself. I have no doubt, too, that he made 
the worst of it ; for, after all, w'hat signifies a dash of extravagance, 
or a mad freak or two ? Tou can't expect that we should all be as 
wise, and as prudent, and as cool-headed as Black Stapylton." 

" You plead very ably, young gentleman," said Dill, with his 
smoothest accent, " but you must give me a little time." 

" Well, I'll give you till to-morrow — to-morrow, at this hour ; for 
it wouldn't be fair to the poor fellow to keep him in a state of un- 
certainty. His heart is set on the plan ; he told me so." 

" I'll do my best to meet your wishes, my dear young gentleman ;, 
but please to bear in mind that it is tlie whole future fate of my 
son I am about to decide. Your father may not, possibly, prove so 
deeply interested as you are : he may — not unreasonably either — 
take a colder view of this project : he may chance to form a lower 
estimate of my poor boy, than it is your good nature to have done." 

" Look here, Doctor ; I know my governor something better than 
you do, and if I wrote to him, and said, ' I want this fellow to come 
home with a lac of rupees,' he'd start him to-morrow with half the 
money. If I were to say, 'You are to give him the best thing 
in your gift,' there's nothing he'd stop at; he'd make him a judge, 
or a receiver, or some one of those fat things, that send a man 
back to England with a fortune. What's that fellow whispering 
you about ? It's something that concerns me." 

This sudden interruption was caused by the approach of Darby^ 
who had come to whisper something in the Doctor's ear. 

" It is a message he has brought me ; a matter of little conse- 
quence. I'll look to it, Darby. Tell your mistress it shall be at- 



70 BAERIXGTOX. 

tended to." Darby lingered for a moment, but the Doctor motioned 
bim away, and did nob speak again till be bad quitted tlie spot. 
" How these fellows will wait to pick up what passes between their 
betters," said Dill, while be continued to follow him with his eyes. 
" I think I mentioned to you once alread}^ that the persons who 
keep this bouse here are reduced gentry, and it is now my task to 
add that, either from some change of fortune, or from caprice, they 
are thinking of abandoning the inn, and resuming — so far as may be 
possible for them — their former standing. This project dates before 
your arrival here ; and now, it would seem, they are growing impa- 
tient to effect it : at least, a very fussy old lady — Miss Barrington — 
has sent me word by Darby, to say her brother will be back here 
to-morrow or next day, with some friends from Kilkenny, and she 
asks at what time your convalescence is likely to permit removal." 

" Turned out, in fact. Doctor — ordered to decamp ! You must 
say I'm ready, of course ; that is to say, that I'll go at once. I don't 
exactly see how I'm to be moved in this helpless state, as no carriage 
can come here ; but you'll look to all that for me. At all events, go 
immediately, and say I shall be oft" within an hour or so." 

" Leave it all to me — leave it in my bands. I think I see what is 
to be done," said the Doctor, with one of his confident little smiles, 
and moved away. 

There was a spice of irritation in Conyers's manner as be spoke. 
He waa veiy little accustomed to be thwarted in anything, and 
scarcely knew the sensation of having a wish opposed, or an obstacle 
set against him, but simply because there was a reason for bis quit- 
ting the place, grew all the stronger bis desire to remain there. He 
looked around him, and never before bad the foliage seemed so grace- 
ful ; never had the tints of the copper-beech blended so harmoniously 
with tlie stone-pine and the larch ; never had the eddies of the river 
laughed more joyously, nor the blackbirds sung with a more im- 
petuous richness of melody. " And to say that I must leave all this, 
just when I feel myself actually clinging to it. I could spend my 
whole life here. I glory in this quiet, unbroken ease ; this life, that 
slips along as waveless as the stream there ! AVhy shouldn't I buy it ; 
have it all my own, to come down to, whenever I was sick and weary 
of the world and its dissipations ? The spot is small ; it couldn't be 
very costly : it would take a mere nothing to maintain. And to 
have it all one's own !" There was an actual ecstasy in the thought ; 
for in that same sense of possession there is a something that re- 
sembles tlie sense of identity. The little child with bis toy, the 
aged man with bis proud demesne, are tasters of the same pleasure. 



BABRINGTON. 77 

" Toil are to use your own discretiou, my dear young gentleman, 
aud go when it suits you, and not before," said the Doctor, returu- 
ing triumphantly, for he felt like a successful envoy. " And now I 
■will leave you. To-morrow you sliall have my answer about Tom." 

Couyers nodded vaguely ; for, alas ! Tom, and all about him, had 
completely lapsed from his memory. 



CHAPTEE X. 

BEING " B O li E D." 

It is a high testimony to that order of architecture which we call 
castle-building, that no man ever lived in a house so fine he could not 
build one more stately still out of his imagination. Nor is it only to 
grandeur and splendour this superiority extends, but it can invest 
lowly situations and homely places with a charm which, alas, no 
reality can rival. 

Conyers was a fortunate fellow in a number of ways ; he was 
young, good-looking, healthy, and rich. Fate had made place for 
him on the very sunniest side of the Causeway, and wuth all that, he 
was happier on that day, through the mere play of his fancy, than all 
his wealth could have made him. He had fiishioued out a life for 
himself in that cottage, very charming, and very enjoyable in its 
way. He would make it such a spot that it would have resources for 
him on every hand, and he hugged himself in tlie thought of coming 
down here with a friend, or, perhaps, two friends, to pass days of that 
luxurious indolence so fascinating to those who are, or fancy they 
are, wearied of life's pomps and vanities. 

Now there are no such scoffers at the frivolity and emptiness of 
human wishes as the well-to-do young fellows of two or three-and- 
twenty. They know the " whole thing," and its utter rottenness. 
They smile compassionately at the eagerness of all around them ; they 
look with a bland pity at the race, and contemptuously ask. Of what 
value the prize when it is won ? They do their very best to be 
gloomy moralists, but they cannot. They might as well try to shiver 
when they sit in the sunshine. The vigorous beat of young hearts, 
and the full tide of young pulses, will tell against all the mock 
misanthropy that ever was fabricated ! It would not be exactly fair 
to rank Conyers in this school, and yet he was not totally exempt 
from some of its teachings. "Who knows if these little imaginary 



78 BAEBiNaxoisr. 

irlooms, these brain-created miseries, are not a kind of moral " alter- 
ative" \vliicli, though depressing at the instant, render the constitu- 
tion only more vigorous after r 

At all events, he had resolved to have the cottage, and, going prac- 
ticrdly to work, he called Darby to his counsels to tell him the ex- 
tent of the place, its boundaries, and whatever information he could 
aiford as to the tenure and its rent. 

" Tou'd be for buying it, your honour !" said Darby, with the keen, 
quick-sightedness of his order. 

" Perhaps I had some thoughts of the kind ; and, if so, I should 
keep you on." 

Darby bowed his gratitude very respectfully. It was too long a 
vista for him to strain his eyes at, and so he made no profuse display 
of thankfulness. "With all their imaginative tendencies, the lower 
Irish are a very bird-in-tlie-hand sort of people. 

"J\ot more than seventeen acres!" cried Conyers, in astonish- 
ment. " AVhy, I sliould have guessed about forty, at least. Isn't 
that wood there part of it ?" 

" Tes, but it's only a strip, and the trees that you see yonder is in 
Carriclough ; and them two meadows below the salmon weir isn't 
ours at all ; and the island itself we have only a lease of it." 

" It's all in capital repair, well kept, well looked after ?" 

""Well, it is, and isn't!" said he, with a look of disagreement. 
" He'd have one thing, and she'd have another ; Zie'd spend every 
shilling he could get on the place, and s/^e'd grudge a brush of paint, 
or a coat of whitewash, just to keep things together." 

" I see nothing amiss here," said Conyers, looking around him. 
" Nobody could ask or wish a cottage to be neater, better furnished, 
or more comfortable. I confess I do not perceive anything wanting." 

" Oh, to be sure, it's very nate, as your honour says ; but then " 

And he scratched his head, and looked confused. 

" But then, what — out with it ?" 

" The earwigs is dreadful ; wherever there's roses and sweetbriar 
there's no livin' with them. Open the window and the place is full 
of them." 

Mistaking the surprise he saw depicted in his hearer's face for 
terror, Darby launched forth into a description of insect and reptile 
tortures that might have suited the tropics ; to hear him, aU the 
stories of the white ant of India, or thegallinipper of Demerara, were 
nothing to the destructive powers of the Irish earwig. The place 
was known for them all over the country, and it was years and years 
lying empty, "by rayson of thim plagues." 



BAEKnfGTON. 79 

Now, if Conyers was not intimidated to the full extent Darby in- 
tended by this account, he was just as far from guessing the secret 
cause of this representation, which was simply a long-settled plan of 
succeeding himself to the ownership of the " Fisherman's Home" 
when, either from the course of nature or an accident, a vacancy would 
occur. It was the grand dream of Darby's life, the island of his 
Government, his seat in the Cabinet, his Judgeship, his Garter, his 
everything, in short, that makes human ambition like a cup brimful 
and overflowing ; and what a terrible reverse would it be if all these 
hopes were to be dashed just to gratify the passing caprice of a mere 
traveller ! 

" I don't suppose your honour cares for money, and, maybe, you'd 
as soon pay twice over the worth of anything ; but here, between 
our two selves, I can tell you, you'd buy an estate in the county 
cheaper than this little place. They think, because they planted 
most of the trees and made the fences themselves, that it's like the 
King's Park. It's a fancy spot, and a fancy price they'll ask for it. 
But I know of another, worth ten of it — a real, elegant place ; to be 
sure, its a trifle out of repair, for the ould naygur that has it won't 
lay out a sixpence, but there's everj^ convaniency in life about ir. 
There's the finest cup potatoes, the biggest turnips ever I see on it, 
and fish jumpin' into the parlour-window, and hares runnin' about 
like rats." 

" I don't care for all that ; this cottage and these grounds here 
have taken my fanc}^" 

" And why wouldn't the other, when you seen it ? The ould Major 
that lives there wants to sell it, and you'd get it a raal bargain. Let 
me row your honour np there this evening. It's not two miles off", 
and the river beautiful all the way." 

Conyers rejected the proposal abruptly, haughtily. Darby had 
dared to throw down a very imposing card-edifice, and for the mo- 
ment the fellow was odious to him. All the golden visions of his 
early morning, that poetised life he was to lead, that elegant pas- 
toralism, which was to blend the splendour of Lucullus with the 
simplicity of a Tityrus, all rent, torn, and scattered by a vile hind, 
who had not even a conception of the ruin he had caused. 

And yet Darby had a misty consciousness of some success. He 
did not, indeed, know that his shell had exploded in a magazine, but 
he saw, from the confusion in the garrison, that his shot had told 
severely, somewhere. 

" Maybe your honour would rather go to-morrow ? or maybe 
you'd like the Major to come up here himself, and speak to you ?" 



80 BABEINOTON 

" IJuce for all, I tell you, No ! Is that plain? No ! And I may 
add, my good fellow, that if you knew me a little better, you'd not 
tender me any advice I did not ask for." 

" And why would I ? Wouldn't I be a baste if I did ?" 

" I think so," said Conyers, dryly, and turned away. Ho was out 
of temper with everytliing and everybody — the Doctor, and his ab- 
ject manner ; Tom, and his roughness ; Darby, and his roguish air of 
self-satisfied craftiness ; all, for the moment displeased and offended 
him. " I'll leave the place to-morrow : I'm not sure I shall not go 
to-night. D'ye hear ?" 

Darby bowed respectfully. 

" I suppose T can reach some spot, by boat, where a carriage can 
be had ?" 

" By coorse, your honour. At Hunt's Mills, or Shibnabrack, 
you'll get a car easy enough, I won't say it wili be an elegant con- 
vaniency, but a good horse will rowl you along into Thomastown, 
where you can change for a shay." 

Strange enough, this very facility of escape annoyed him. Had 
Darby only told him that there were all manner of difficulties to 
getting away — that there were shallows in the river, or a landslip 
across the road — he would have addressed himself to overcome the 
obstacles like a man ; but to hear that the course was open, that any 
one might take it, was intolerable. 

" I suppose, your honour, I'd better get the boat ready, at all 
events ?" 

" Yes, certainly — ttiat is — not till I give further orders. I'm the 
only stranger here, and I can't imagine there can be much difficulty 
in having a boat at any hour. Leave me, my good fellow ; you only 
worry me. Go !" 

And Darby moved away, revolving "within himself the curious 
problem, that if, having plenty of money enlarged a man's means of 
enjoyment, it was strange how little effi^ct it produced upon his man- 
ners. As for Conyers, he stood moodily gazing on the river over 
whose placid surface a few heavy raindrops were just falling; great 
clouds, too, rolled heavily over the hill-sides, and gathered into 
ominous-looking masses over tlie stream, while a low moaning sound 
of very far-off thunder foretold a storm. 

Here, at least, was a good tangible grievance, and he hugged it to 
his heart. He was weatlier-bound ! The tree-tops were already 
shaking wildly, and dark scuds flying fast over the mottled sky. It 
was clear that a severe storm was near. " No help for it now," 
muttered he, " if I must remain here till to-morrow." And; hobbling 



BAKRIT^GTON. SI 

as well ns lie could into tlie house, he seated himself at a window to 
watch the hurricane. Too closely pent up between ilie steep sides ot" 
the river for anything like destructive power, the v/ind only jshoolc 
the trees violently, or swept along the stream with tiny waves, which 
warred against the current ; but even these were soon beaten down 
by the rain — that heavy, swooping, splashing rain, that seems to come 
from the overflowing of a lake in the clouds. Darker and darker 
grew the atmosphere as it fell, till the bank's of the opposite side 
were gradually lost to view, while the river itself became a yellow 
flood, surging up amongst the willows that lined the banks. It was 
not one of tliose storms whose grand effects of lightning, aided by 
pealing thunder, create a sense of sublime terror, that has its own 
ecstas}' ; but it was one of those dreary evenings when the dull sUy 
shows no streak of light, and when the moist earth gives up no per- 
fume, when foliage and hill-side and rock and stream are leaden- 
coloured and sad, and one wishes for winter, to close the shutter and 
draw the curtain, and creep close to the chimney-corner as to a 
refuge. 

Oh, what comfortless things are these summer storms ! They come 
upon us like some dire disaster in a time of festivity. They swoop 
down upon our days of sunshine, like a pestilence, and turn our joy 
into gloom, and all our gladness to despondency, bringing back to 
our minds memories of comfortless journeys, weariful ploddings, long 
nights of suffering. 

I am but telling what Conyers felt at this sudden change of weather. 
Tou and I, my good reader, know better. "We feel how gladly the 
parched earth drinks up the refreshing draught, how the seared grass 
bends gratefully to the skimming rain, and the fresh buds open with 
joy to catch the pearly drops. "We know, too, how the atmosphere, 
long imprisoned, bursts forth into a joyous freedom, and comes back 
to us fresh from the sea and the mountain rich in odour and redolent 
of health, making the very air we breathe an exquisite luxury. We 
know all this, and much more that he did not care for. 

'Now, Conyers was only " bored," as if anything could be much 
worse ; that is to say^hewas in that state of mind in which resources 
yield no distraction, and nothing is invested with an interest sufficient 
to make it even passingly^ jxmuslng. He wanted to do somethincr, 
though the precise something did not occur to him. Had he been 
well, and in full enjoyment of his strength, he'd have sallied out into 
the storm and walked off his ennui by a wetting. Even a cold would 
be a good exchange for the dreary blue-devilism of his depression, but 
this escape was denied him, and he was left to fret, and chafe, and 

G 



82 BAItTlTXaTON'. 

fever himself, moving from window to cliimney-corner, and from 
chimupy-corner to sofa, till at last, baited by self-tormcntings, he 
opened his door and sallied forth to wander through the rooms, 
taking his chance where his steps might lead him. 

Between the gloomy influences of the storm and the shadows of a 
declining daj' he could mark but indistinctly the details of the rooms 
he was exploring. They presented little that was remarkable ; they 
Avere modestly furnished, nothing costly nor expensive anywhere, but 
a degree of homely comfort rare to find in an inn. They had, above 
all, that habitable look which so seldom pertains to a house of enter- 
tainment, and, in the loosely-scattered books, prints, and maps, showed 
n sort of flattering trustfulness in the stranger who miglit sojourn 
there. His wanderings led him at length into a somewhat more pre- 
tentious room, with a piano and a harp, at one angle of which a little 
octangular tower opened, with windows in every fiice, and the spaces 
between them completely covered by miniatures in oil, or small 
cabinet pictures. A small table with a chess-board stood here, and 
an unfinished game yet remained on the board. As Conyers bent 
over to look, he perceived that a book, Avhose leaves were held open 
by a smelling-bottle, lay on tlie cliair next the table. He took this 
up, and saw that it was a little volume treating of the game, and that 
the pieces on the board represented a problem. AVith the eagerness 
of a man thirsting for some occupation, he seated himself at the table, 
and set to work at the question. " A Mate in Six Moves " it was 
beaded, but the pieces had been already disturbed by some one at- 
tempting the solution. He replaced them by the directions of tlie 
volume, and devoted, himself earnestly to the task. He was not a 
good player, and the problem posed, him. He tried it again and again, 
but ever unsuccessfully. He fancied that up to a certain point he 
had followed the right track, and repeated the same opening moves 
each time. IMeaiiwhile the evening was fast closing in, and it was 
only with difficulty he could see the pieces on the board. 

Bending low over the table, he was straining his eyes at the game, 
when a low, gentle voice from behind his chai-r said, " Would you not 
■wish candles, Sir ? It is too dark to see here." 

Con3'ers turned hastily, and as hastily recognised that the person 
who addressed him was a gentlewoman. He arose at once, and made 
a sort of apology for his intruding. 

"Had I known you were a chess-player. Sir," said she, with the 
demure gravity of a composed manner, " I believe I should have sent 
you a challenge, for my brother, who is my usual adversary, is from 
home." 




is-T^n^ 



BABRINGTON. 85 

" If I slioiilil prove a very unworthy enemy, Madam, yon -will fmcl 
me a very grateful one, for I am sorely tired of my oun company." 

" In that case. Sir, I beg to offer you mine, and a cup of tea along 
with it." 

Conyers accepted the invitation joyfully, and followed Miss Bar- 
riiigton to a small but most comfortable little room, where a tea 
equipage of exquisite old china was already prepared. 

" I see you are in admiration of my teacups ; they are the rare 
Canton blue, for we tea-drinkers have as much epicurism in the form 
and colour of a cup as wine-bibbers profess to have in a hock or a 
claret glass. Pray take the sofa ; you will find it more comfortable 
than a chair. I am aware you have had an accident." 

Very few and simple as were her words, she threw into her manner 
a degree of courtesy that seemed actual kindness, and coming, as this 
did, after liis late solitude and gloom, no wonder was it that Conyers 
was charmed with it. There was, besides, a quaint formality — a sort 
of old-world politeness in her breeding — which relieved the interview 
of awkwardness by taking it out of the common category of such 
events. 

When tea was over they sat down to chess, at which Conyers had 
merely proficiency enougli to be worth beating ; perhaps the quality 
stood him in good stead ; perhaps certain others, such as his good 
looks and his pleasing manners, were even better aids to liim ; but 
certain it is. Miss Barrington liked lier guest, and when, on arising 
to say good night, he made a bungling attempt to apologise for 
having prolonged his stay at the cottage beyond the period which 
suited their plans, she stopped him by saying, with much courtesy, 
" It is true, Sir, we are about to relinquisli the inn, but pray do not 
deprive us of the great pleasure we should feel in associating its last 
day or two with a most agreeable guest. I hope you will remain till 
my brother comes back and makes your acquaintance." 

Conyers very cordially accepted the proposal, and went off to his. 
bed far better pleased with himself and with all the world than he 
well believed it possible he could be a couple of hours before. 



S2 



St BARniNQTON. 



CHAPTER XT. 

A NOTE TO BE ANSWKRED. 

"While Convors-wasyet in bed tlio following niornmg, a moiseuger 
arrived at the house with a note for him, :uul waited for the answer. 
It was from Stapyltoii, and ran thus : 

" Cobham Hall, Tuesday morning. 

" Demi Con., — The world here — aud part of it is a very pretty 
world, with silky tresses aud trim ankles — has declared that you have 
liad some sort of slight accident, aud are laid up at a miserable way- 
side inn, to be blue-devilled and doctored a discretion. I strained 
my shoulder yesterday, hunting — my horse swerved against a tree — 
or I should ascertain all the particulars of your disaster in person ; 
so there is nothing left for it but a note. 

" I am here domesticated at a charming country-house, the host an 
old Admiral, the hostess a ci-devant belle of Loudon — in times not 
very recent and more lately what is called in newspapers ' one of the 
ornaments of the Irish Court.' "We have abundance of guests — 
county dons and native celebrities, clerical, lyrical, and quizzical, 
several pretty women, a first-rate cellar, and a very tolerable cook. 
I give you the catalogue of our attractions, for I am commissioned 
by Sir Charles and my Lady to ask you to partake of them. The 
invitation is given in all cordiality, and I hope you will not decline 
it, for it is, amongst other matters, a good opportunit_y of seeing an 
Irish ' interior,' a thing of which I have always had 1113^ doubts and 
misgivings, some of which are now solved ; others I should like to 
investigate with your assistance. In a word, tlie whole is worth 
seeing, aud it is, besides, one ot those experiences which can be iiocl 
on very pleasant terms. There is perfect liberty : always something 
going on, and always a way to be out of it, if you like. The people 
are, perhaps, not more friendly than in England, but they are far 
more familiar; and if not more disposed to be pleased, they tell you 
they are, which amounts to the same. There is a good deal of 
splendour, a wide hospitality, aud, I need scarcely add, a considerable 
share of bad taste. There is, too, a costly attention to the wishes of 
a guest, which will remind you of India, though, I must own, the 



BARRINGTON. 85 

Irish Brahmin lias not the grand, high-bred air of the Bengalee. But 
again I say, come and see. 

" I have been told to explain to you why they don't send their boat. 
There is something about draught of water, and something about a 
' gash,' whatever that is : I opine it to be a rapid. And then I am 
directed to say, that if you will have yourself paddled np to Brown's 
Barn, the Cobham barge will be there to meet you. 

" I write this with some difficulty, lying on my back on a sofa, 
while a very pretty girl is impatiently waiting to continue her read- 
nig to me of a new novel called ' The Antiquary,' a capital story, but 
strangely disfigured by whole scenes in a Scottish dialect. Tou must 
read it when you come over. 

" Tou have heard of Hunter, of course, I am sure you will be 
sorry at his leaving us. Eor myself, I knew him very slightly, and 
shall not have to regret him like older friends ; not to say that I liave 
been so long in the service that I never believe in a Colonel. Would 
you go with him if he gave you the offer ? There is such a row and 
uproar all around me, that I must leave off. Have I forgotten to say, 
that if you stand upon the ' dignities,' the Admiral will go in person 
to invite you, though he has a foot in the gout. I conclude you will 
not exact this, and I Tcnow they will take your acceptance of tliis 
mode of invitation as a great favour. Say the hour and the day, and 
believe me yours always, 

" Horace Staptltois". 

" Sir Charles is come to say that if your accident does not interfere 
with riding, he hopes you will send for your horses. He has ample 
stabling, and is vain-glorious about his beans. That short-legged 
chesnut you bought from Norris would cut a good figure here, as the 
fences lie very close, and you must be always ' in hand.' If you saw 
how the women ride ! There is one here now — a ' half-bred 'un' — that 
pounded us all — a whole field of us — last Saturday. You shall see 
her. I won't promise you'll follow her across her country." 

The first impression made on the mind of Conjers by this letter 
was surprise that Stapylton, with whom he had so little acquaintance, 
should write to him in this tone of intimacy ; Stapylton, whose cold, 
almost stern manner seemed to repel any approach, and now he 
assumed all the free-and-easy air of a comrade of his own years and 
standing. Had he mistaken the man, or had he been misled by 
inferring from his bearing in the regiment what he must be at heart ? 
Tlii^, however, was but a passing thought; the passage which inte- 



8G BAEEINGTON. 

rested bim most of all was about Hunter. Wliere and for wbat 
•could be bave left, tben ? It was a regimcut be bad served in since 
be entered tbe army. Wbat could bave led bim to excliange ? and 
wby, wben be did so, bad be not written bim one line — even one — to 
say as mucb ? It was to serve under Hunter, bis fatber's old aide- 
de-camp in times back, tbat be bad entered tliat regiment — to be 
■witb bim, to bave bis friendsbip, bis counsels, liis guidance. Colonel 
Hunter bad treated bim like a son in every respect, and Conyers felt 
in bis beart tbat tbis same afiection and interest it was wbicli formed 
bis strongest tie to tbe service. Tlie question, " AV^ould you go witb 
bim if be gave you tlic oiler r" was like a reflection on bim, wbile no 
sucb option liad been extended to bim. AVbat more uatui-al, after 
all, tban sucb an offer? so Stapylton tbougbt — so all tbe world would 
tbink. How be tbougbt over tbe constantly recurring questions of 
bis brotber-officers : " Wby didn't you go witb Hunter ?" " How 
came it tbat Hunter did not name you on bis staft'?" " Was it fair 
— was it generous in one who owed all bis advancement to bis fatber 
— to treat bim in tbis fashion?" " Were tbe ties of old friendship so 
lax as all this ?" " Was distance sucb an enemy to every obliga- 
tion of affection?" "Would bis father believe that sucb a sligbt 
bad been passed upon bim undeservedly ? Would not the ready 
inference be, ' Hunter knew you to be incapable — unequal to the 
duties be required. Hunter must bave bis reasons for passing you 
over!' " and sucb like. These reflections, very bitter in tbeir way, 
were broken in upon by a request from Miss Barrington for bis com- 
pany at breakfast. Strange enough, be bad half forgotten tbat there 
was sucb a person in the world, or tbat be bad spent tbe preceding 
evening very pleasantly in ber society. 

" I hope you bave had a pleasant letter," said she, as be entered, 
witb Stapylton's note still in his band. 

" I can scarcely call it so, for it brings me news tbat our Colonel — 
a very dear and kind friend to me — is about to leave us." 

" Are not tbese tbe usual chances of a soldier's life ? I used to be 
very familiar once on a time witb sucb topics." 

" I have learned the tidings so vaguely, too, tbat I can make nothing 
of them. ]My cori'espondent is a mei-e acquaintance — a brother officer, 
who has lately joined us, and cannot feel bow deeply bis news has 
affected me ; in fact, tbe chief burden of bis letter is to convey an 
invitation to me, and be is full of country-bouse people and pleasures. 
He writes from a place called Cobham." 

" Sir Charles Cobbam's. One of tbe best bouses in the county." 



BAIIKINQTON. 87 

"Do you know them ?" asked Conyers, who did not, till the words 
were out, remember how awkward they might prove. 

She flushed slightly for a moiueut, but, speedily recoveriug herself, 
said, "Yes, we kuew them ouce. They had just come to the country, 
aud purchased tliat estate, when our misfortunes overtook us. They 
showed us much attention, and such kindness as strangers could 
show, and they evinced a disposition to continue it ; but, of course, 
our relative positions made intercourse impossible. I am afraid," 
said she, hastily, " I am talking in riddles all this time. I ought to 
liave told you that my brother once owned a good estate here. We 
Barringtous thought a deal of ourselves in those days." She tried 
to say these words with a playful levity, but her voice shook, and her 
lip trembled in spite of her. 

Conyers muttered something unintelligible about " his having 
heard before," and his sorrow to have awakened a painful theme ; 
but she stopped him hastily, saying, " These are all such old stories 
now^, one should be able to talk them over unconcernedly ; indeed, it 
is easier to do so than to avoid the subject altogether, for there is no 
such egotist as your reduced gentleman." She made a pretext of 
giving him his tea and helping him to something, to cover the 
awkward pause that followed, and then asked if he intended to accept 
the invitation to Cobham. 

" Not if you will allow me to remain here. The Doctor says three 
days more will see me able to go back to my quarters." 

" I hope you will stay for a week at least, for I scarcely expect my 
brother before Saturday. Meanwhile, if you have any fancy to visit 
Cobham, and make your acquaintance with the family there, remember 
you have all the privileges of an inn here, to come and go, and stay 
at your pleasure." 

" I do not want to leave this. I wish I was never to leave it," 
muttered he below his breath. 

" Perhaps I guess what it is that attaches you to this place," said 
she, gently. " Shall I say it ? There is something quiet, something 
domestic here, that recals ' Home.' " 

'■ But I never knew a home," said Conyers, falteringly. " My 
mother died when I was a mere infant, and I knew none of that 
watchful love that first gives the sense of home. You may be right, 
however, in supposing that I cling to this spot as what should seem 
to me like a home, for I own to you I feel very happy here." 

" Stay then and be happy," said she, holding out her hand, which 
he clasped warmly, aud then pressed to his lips. 



88 BARRING TOX. 

" Tell your friend to come over and dine witli you any day thai; lie 
can tear himself from gay company and a great house, and I will do 
my best to entertain him suitably." 

"No. I don't care to do that; he is a mere acquaintance; there 
is no friendship between us, and, as he is several years older than me, 
and far wiser, and more man of the world, I am more chilled than 
cheered by his company. But you shall read his letter, and I'm 
certain you'll make a better guess at his nature than if I were to 
give you my own version of him at any length." So saying, he 
handed Stapylton's note across the table, and Miss Dinah, having 
deliberately put on her spectacles, began to read it. 

" It's a fine manly hand — very bold and very legible, and says 
something for the writer's frankness. Eh ! ' a miserable wayside 
inn !' This is less than just to the poor ' Fisherman's Home.' Posi- 
tively, you must make him come to dinner, if it be only for the sake 
of our character. Tliis man is not amiable, Sir," said she, as she 
read on, " though I could swear he is pleasant company, and some- 
times witty. But there is little of genial in his pleasantry, and less 
of good nature in his wit." 

" Go on," cried Conyers ; " I'm quite with you." 

" Is he a person of family ?" asked she, as she read on some few 
lines furtlicr. 

" We know nothing about him ; he joined ns fi'om a native corps, 
in India ; but he has a good name, and apparently ample means. 
His appearance and manner are equal to any station." 

" For all that, I don't like him, nor do I desire that you should like 
him. There is no wiser caution than that of the Psalmist against 
' sitting in the seat of the scornful.' Tliis man is a scoffer." 

" And yet it is not his usual tone. He is cold, retiring, almost 
shy. This letter is not a bit like anytliing I ever saw in his 
character." 

"Another reason to distrust him. Set my mind at ease by saying 
* No' to his invitation, and let me try if I cannot recompense you by 
homeliness in lieu of splendour. The young lady," added she, as she 
folded the letter, " whose horsemanship is commemorated at the ex- 
pense of her breeding, must be our Doctor's daughter. She is a very 
pretty girl, and rides admirably. Her good looks and her courage 
might have saved her the sarcasm. I have my doubts if the man that 
uttered it be thorough-bred." 

" Well, I'll go and write my answer," said Conyers, rising. '" I have 
been keeping his messenger waiting all this time. I will show it to 
you before I send it oflV 



3AEEINGT0X. S9 



CHAPTEE XII. 



THE ANSWER. 



" Will this do ?" said Conyers, shortly after entering the room with 
a very brief note, but which, let it be owned, cost him fully as mucli 
labour as more practised hands occasionally bestow on a more lengthy 
despatch. " I suppose it's all that's civil and proper, and I don't care 
to make any needless professions. Pray read it, and give me your 
opinion." 

It was so brief that I may quote it : 

" Dear Captain Staptlton, — Don't feel an}' apprehensions about 
me. I am in better quarters than I ever fell into in my life, and my 
accident is not worth speaking of. I wish you had told me more of 
our Colonel, of whose movements I am entirely ignorant. I am sin- 
cerely grateful to your friends for thinking of me, and hope, ere I 
leave the neighbourhood, to express to Sir Charles and Lady Cobham 
how sensible I am of their kind intentions towards me. 

" I am, most faithfully yours, 

" F. CONYEES." 

" It is very well, and tolerably legible," said Miss Barrington, 
dryly; "at least, I can make out everything but the name at the 
end." 

"I own I do not shine in penmanship; the strange characters at 
the foot were meant to represent ' Conyers.' " 

" Conyers ! Conyers ! How long it is since I heard that name last, 
and how familiar I was with it once. My nephew's dearest friend 
was a Conyers." 

" He must have been a rehitive of mine in some degree ; at least, 
we are in the habit of saying that all of the name are of one family." 

Not heeding what he said, the old lady had fallen back in her 
meditations to a very remote " long ago," and was thinking of a time 
when every letter from India bore tlie higli-wrought interest of a ro- 
mance, of which her nephew was the hero — times of intense anxiety, 
indeed, but full of hope withal, and glowing with all the rich colour- 



90 BAEEINGTON. 

iug with which love and an exalted imagiuatiou can invest the inci- 
dents of an adventurous life. 

" It was a great heart he had, a splendidly generous nature, far too 
high-souled and too exacting for common fricudsliips, and so it was 
that he had few friends. I am talking of my nephew," said she, cor- 
recting herself suddenly. " Wluit a hoon for a young man to have 
met him, and formed an attachment to him. I wish you could have 
icnown him. George would have been a noble example for you!" 
She paused for some minutes, aiid then suddenly, as it were remem- 
bering herself, said, "Did you tell me just now, or was I caly 
dreaming, that you knew^ Ormsby Conyers ?" 

"Ormsby Conyers is my father's name," said he, quickly 

" Captain in the 25th Dragoons ?" asked she, eagerly. 

" He was so, some eighteen or twenty years ago." 

" Oh, then, my heart did not deceive me," cried she, taking his 
hand with both her own, " Avhen Ifelt towards you like an old friend. 
After we parted last night, I asked myself, again and again, how- 
was it that I already felt an interest in you ? AVhat subtle instinct 
was it that whispered this is the son of poor George's dearest friend — 
this is the son of that dear Ormsby Conyers, of whom every letter is 
full ? Oh, the happiness of seeing you under this roof! And what a 
surprise for my poor brother, who clings only the closer, with every 
year, to all that reminds him of his boy !" 

" And you knew my father, then ?" asked Conyers, proudly. 

" Never met him ; but I believe I knew him better than many who 
were his daily intimates ; I'or years my nephew's letters were journals 
of tlieir joint lives — they seemed never separate. But you shall read 
them yourself. They go back to the time when they both lauded at 
Calcutta, young and ardent spirits, eager for adventure, and urged 
by a bold ambition to win distinction. From that day they were in- 
separable. They hunted, travelled, lived together ; and so attached 
had they become to each other, that George writes in one letter : 
' They have offered me an appointment on the Staff, but as this 
would separate me from Ormsby, it is not to be thought of.' It was 
to me George always wrote, for my brother never liked letter- 
writin"-, and thus I was my nephew's confidante, and entrusted with 
all his secrets. Nor was there one in which your father's name did 
not fio-ure. It was, how Ormsby got him out of this scrape, or took 
his duty for him, or made this explanation, or raised that sum or 
money, that filled all these. At last — I never knew why or how — 
George ceased to write to me, and addressed all his letters to his 



BAEEINGTOK. * 91 

father, marked ' Strictly private' too, so tliat I never saw what they 
contained. My brother, I believe, suflered deeply from tlie conceal- 
ment, and there must have been what to him seemed a sufficient 
reason for it, or he would never have excluded me from that share in 
his confidence I had always possessed. At all events, it led to a sort 
of estrangement between us — the only one of our lives. He would 
tell me at intervals that George was on leave ; George was at the 
Hills ; he was expecting his troop ; he had been sent here or there ; 
but nothing more, till one morning, as if unable to bear the burden 
longer, he said, ' George has made up his mind to leave his regiment 
and take service with one of the native Princes. It is an arrange- 
ment sanctioned by the Government, but it is one I grieve over and 
regret greatly.' I asked eagerly to hear further about this step, but 
he said he knew nothing beyond the bare fact. I then said, ' "What 
does his friend Conyers think of it ?' and my brother dryly replied, ' I 
am not aware that he has been consulted.' Our own misfortunes 
were fast closing around us, so that really we had little time to think 
of anything but the difficulties that each day brought forth. George's 
letters grew rarer and rarer ; rumours of him reached us ; stories of 
his gorgeous mode of living, his princely state and splendid retinue, 
of the high favour he enjoyed with the Eajah, and the influence he 
wielded over neighbouring chiefs ; and then we heard, still only by 
rumour, that he had married a native Princess, who had some time 
before been converted to Christianity. The first intimation of the 
fact from himself came, wlien, announcing that he had sent his 
daughter, a child of about five years old, to Europe to be edu- 
cated " She paused here, and seemed to have fallen into a 

reverie over the past ; when Conyers suddenly asked : 

" And what of my father all this time ? "Was the old intercourse 
kept up between them ?" 

" I cannot tell you. I do not remember that his name occurred 
till the memorable case came on before tlie House of Commons — the 
inquiry, as it was called, into Colonel Barrington's conduct, in the 
case of Edwardes, a British-born subject of his Majesty, serving in 
the army of the Eajali of Luckerabad. Tou have, perhaps, heard 
of it?" 

" AVas that the celebrated charge of torturing a British subject ?" 

" The same ; the vilest conspiracy that ever was hatched, and the 
cruelest persecution that ever broke a noble heart. And yet there 
were men of honour, men of the purest fame and most unblemished 
character, who barkened in to that infamous cry, and actually sent 



92 ♦ EARniNGTOX. 

out emissaries to India to collect evidence against mv poor nephew. 
Por a while the whole country rang with the case. The low papers, 
which assailed the Government, made it matter of attack on the 
nature of the British rule in India, and the ministry only sought to 
make George the victim to screen themselves from public indignation. 
It was Admiral B^'ng's case once more. But I have no temper to 
speak of it even after this lapse of years ; my blood boils now at the 
bare '.nemory of that foul and perjured association. If you would 
follow the stor}^ I will send you the little published narrative to your 
roon), but, I beseech you, do not again revert to it. How I have 
betra3ed myself to speak of it I know not. For many a long year I 
have prayed to be able to forgive one man, who has been the bitterest 
enemy of our name and race. I have asked for strength to bear the 
burden of our cahnnity, but more earnestly a hundred-fold I have en- 
treated that forgiveness might enter my heart, and that if vengeance 
for this cruel wrong was at my hand, I could be able to say, ' No, the 
time for such feeling is gone by.' Let mo not, then, be tempted by 
any revival of this theme to recal all the sorrow and all tlie indigna- 
tion it once caused me. This infamous book contains the whole 
story as the world then believed it. You will read it with interest, 
for it concerned one wdiom your father dearly loved. But, again I 
say, when we meet again let us not return to it. These letters, too, 
will amuse you ; they are the diaries of your father's early life in 
India as much as George's, but of them we can talk freely." 

It was so evident that she was speaking with a forced calm, aud 
that all her self-restraint might at any moment prove unequal to the 
effort she was making, that Conyers, affecting to have a few words to 
say to Stapylton's messenger, stole away, and hastened to his room 
to look over the letters and the volume she had given him. 

He had scarcely addressed himself to his task when a knock came 
to the door, and at the same instant it was opened in a slow, half- 
hesitating way, and Tom Dill stood before him. Though evidently 
dressed for the occasion, and intending to present himself in a most 
favourable guise, Tom looked far more vulgar and unprepossessing 
than in the worn costume of his evcry-day life, his bright-buttoned 
blue coat and yellow waistcoat being only aggravations of the low- 
bred air that unhappily beset him. AVorse even than this, however, 
was the fact that, being somewhat nervous about the interview before 
him, Tom had taken what his father would have called a diffusable sti- 
mulant, in the shape of "a dandy of punch," and bore the evidences 
of it in a heightened colour aud a very lustrous but wandering eye. 




o 



/-ly ^^zyui/ I'Pt.' /uyi -Pe^^^u 



BAUEINGTON. 93 

"Here I am," said lie, entering^ with a sort of easy swagger, but 
far more affected than real, notwithstanding tlie " daudy." 

" Well, and what then ?" asked Conyers, haughtily ; I'or the vulgar 
presumption of his manner was but u sorry advocate in liis favour. 
" I don't remember that I sent for you." 

" JSTo ; but my father told me what you said to him, and I was to 
come up and thank you, and say ' Done !' to it all." 

Couyers turned a look — not a very pleased or a very flattering look 
— at the loutish figure before him, and in his changing colour might 
be seen the conflict it cost him to keep down his rising temper. He 
was, indeed, sorely tried, and his hand shook as he tossed over the 
books on his table, and endeavoured to seem occupied iu other 
matters. 

" Maybe you forget all about it," began Tom. " Perhaps you 
don't remember that you offered to fit mc out i'or India, and send me 
over with a letter to your father " 

"JSTo, no, I forget nothing of it; I remember it all." He had 
almost said " only too well," but he coughed down the cruel speech, 
and went on hurriedly : " Ton have come, however, when I am en- 
"ajred — when I have other things to attend to. These letters here 
In fact, this is not a moment when I can attend to vou. Do vou 



understand me ?" 

" I believe I do," said Tom, growing very pale. 

" To-morrow, then, or the day after,- or next week, will be time 
enough for all this. I must think over the matter again." 

"I see," said Tom, moodily, as he changed from one foot to the 
other, and cracked the joints of his fingers, till they seemed dis- 
located. " I see it all." 

" What do you mean by that P — what do you see ?" asked Couyers, 
angrily. 

" I see that Polly, my sister, was right ; that she know you better 
than any of us," said Tom, boldly, for a sudden rush of courage had 
now filled his heart. " She said, ' Don't let him turn your head, 
Tom, with his fine promises. He was in good humour and good 
spirits when he made them, and perhaps meant to keep them too ; 
but he little knows what misery disappointment brings, and he'll 
never fret himself over the heavy heart he's giving you, when he 
v."akes in the morning with a change of mind. And then, she said 
another thing," added he, after a pause. 

" And what was the other thing ?" 

" She said, ' If you go up there, Tom,' says she, ' dressed out like 



^4 BAKRIKGTON'. 

a sliopboy in his Sunday suit, lie'll be actually shocked at liis having 
taken an interest in you. He'll forget all about your hard lot and 
your struggling fortune, and only see your vulgarity.' ' Your vul- 
garity' — that was the word." As he said this, his lip trembled, and 
the chair he leaned on shook under his grasp. 

" Gro back, and tell her, then, that she was mistaken," said Conycrs," 
•whose own voice now quavered. " Tell her, that when I give my 
word, I keep it ; that I will maintain everything I said to you or to 
your father ; and that when she imputed to me an indifference as to 
the feelings of others, she might have remembered whether she was 
not unjust to mine. Tell her that, also." 

" I will," said Tom, gravely. " Is there anything more ?" 

" ISTo, nothing more," said Conyers, who with difficulty suppressed 
a smile at the words and the manner of his questioner. 

" Good-by, then. You'll send for me when you want me," said 
Tom ; and he was out of the room, and half way across the lawn, ere 
Conyers could recover himself to reply. 

Conyers, however, flung open the windoAv, and cried to him to 
come back. 

" I was nigh forgetting a most important part of the matter, Tom," 
said he, as the other entered, somewhat pale and anxious-looking. 
" You told me, t'other day, that there was some payment to be made 
— some sum to be lodged before you could present yourself for 
examination. What about this ? Wlien must it be done?" 

" A month before I go in," said Tom, to whom the very thought of 
the ordeal seemed full of terror and heart-sinking. 

" And how soon do you reckon that may be ?" 

" Polly says not before eight weeks at the earliest. She says we'll 
have to go over Bell on the Bones all again, and brush up the Liga- 
ments besides. If it was the Navy, they'd not mind the nerves; but 
they tell me the Army fellows often take a man on the fifth pair, and 
I know if tliey do me, it's mighty little of India I'll see." 

" Plucked, eh ?" 

"I don't know what you moan by 'plucked,' but I'd be turned 
hack, which is perhaps the same. And no great disgrace either," 
added he, with more, of courage in his voice ; " Polly herself says 
there's days she couldn't remember all the branches of the fifth, and 
the third is almost as bad." 

" I suppose if your sister could go up in your place, Tom, you'd 
be quite sure of your diploma ?" 

" It's many and many a day I wished that same," sighed he, heavily. 



BABI?IN"OTOK. 95 

"If you liearcl her goiug over tbe 'Subclavian,' you'd swear sbe ]:ncl 
the book in lier hand." 

Conyers could not repress a smile at tliis strange piece of feminine 
accomplishment, but he v^as careful not to let Tom perceive it. Not, 
indeed, that the poor fellow was in a very observant mood ; Polly's 
perfections, her memory, and her quickness, were the themes that 
filled up his mind. 

" What a rare piece of luck for you to have had such a sister, 
Tom !" 

" Don't I say it to myself — don't I repeat the very same words 
every morning when I awake ? Maybe T'll never come to any good ; 
maybe my father is right, and that I'll only be a disgrace as long as 
I live; but I hope one thing, at least, I'll never be so bad that I'll 
forget Polly, and all she done for me. And I'll tell you more," said 
he, with a choking fulness in his throat : " if they turn me back at 
my examination, mj' heart will be heavier for Tier than for myself." 

" Come, cheer up, Tom ; don't look on the gloomy side. You'll 
pass, I'm certain, and with credit, too. Here's the thirty pounds 
you'll have to lodge " 

" It is only twenty they require. And, besides, I couldn't take il ; 
it's my father must pay." He stammered, and hesitated, and grew 
pale and then crimson, while his lips trembled and his chest heaved 
and fell almost convulsively. 

"Nothing of the kind, Tom," said Conyers, who had to subdue Jiia 
own emotion by an assumed sternness. " The plan is all my own, 
and I will stand no interference with it. I mean that you should 
pass your examination without your father knowing one word about 
it. Tou shall come back to him with your diploma, or whatever it 
is, in your hand, and say, ' There, Sir, the men who have signed 
their names to that, do not think so meanly of me as you do." 

" And he'd say, ' The more fools they !' " said Tom, with a grim 
smile. 

" At all events," resumed Conyers, " I'll have my own way. Put 
that note in your pocket, and whenever you are gazetted Surgeon- 
Major to the Guards, or Inspector- General of all the Hospitals in 
Great Britain, you can repay me, and with interest besides, if you 
Tike it." 

" You've given me a good long day to be in your debt," said Tom ; 
and he hurried out of the room before his over-full heart should 
betray his emotion. 

.It is marvellous how quickly a kind action done to another recon- 



9G I!A11RI>'GT0X. 

ciles a niiiii to himself. Doubtless conscience, at such times, con- 
descends to play tlio courtier, and \\liispers, " Wliafc a good fellow 
you are ! and bow unjust the Avorld is when it calls you cold, and 
haughty, and uugenial !" Not that I would assert higher and better 
thoughts tlian these do not reward him -who, Samaritan-like, binds 
up the wounds of misciy, but I. fear mo much that few of us resist 
self-flattery, or those little delicate adulations one can oiler to his 
own heart when nobody overhears him. 

At all events, Couyers was not averse to this pleasure, and grew 
actually to feel a strong interest for Tom Dill, all because that 
poor i'ellow had been the rccij^icnt of his bounty ; for so is it the 
waters of our nature must be stirred by some act of charity or kind- 
ness, else their healing virtues have small efficacy, and cure not. 

And then he wondered and questioned himself whether Polly 
might not possibly be right, and that his " Governor" would marvel 
where and how he had picked up so strange a specimen as Tom. 
That poor fellow, too, like many an humble flower, seen not disad- 
vantageously in its native wilds, would look strangely out of place 
when transplanted and treated as an exotic. Still, he could trust to 
the wide and generous nature of his father to overlook small defects 
of manner and breeding, and take the humble fellow kindly. 

Must I own that a considerable share of his hopefulness was de- 
rived from thinking that the odious blue coat and brass buttons 
could scarcely make part of Tom's kit for India, and that in no 
other costume known to civilised man could his protege look so 
unprepossessingly. 



bahetngton. f)7 



CHAPTEE XIIT. 

A FEW LEAVES FKOM A BLUE-BOOK. 

The journal whicli Miss Barrington had placed in Conyers's bands 
was little else tlian tlie record of the sporting adventures of two young 
and very dashing fellows. There were lion and tiger-hunts, so little 
varied in detail that one might serve for all, though doubtless to the 
narrator each was marked with its own especial interest. There were 
travelling incidents and accidents, and straits for money, and mishaps, 
and arrests, and stories of steeple-chases and balls all mixed up 
together, and recounted so very much in the same spirit as to show 
how very little shadow mere misadventure could throw across the 
sunshine of their every-day life. But every now and then Conyers 
came upon some entry which closely touched his heart. It was how 
nobly Ormsby behaved. What a splendid fellow he was ! so frank, 
so generous, such a horseman ! " I wish you saw the astonishment of 
the Mahratta fellows as Ormsby lifted the tent-pegs in full career; 
lie never missed one. Ormsby won the rifle-match ; we all knew he 
would. Sir Peregrine invited Ormsby to go with him to the Hills, 
but he refused, mainly because I was not asked." Ormsby has been 
offered this, that, or t'other ; in fact, that one name recurred in every 
second sentence, and always with the same marks of affection. IIow 
proud, too, did Barrington seem of his friend. " They have found out 
that no country-house is perfect without Ormsby, and he is positively 
persecuted with invitations. 1 hear the ' G.-Gr.' is provoked at 
Ormsby's refusal of a Staff appointment. I'm in rare luck ; the old 
Eajah of Tannanoohr has asked Ormsby to a grand elephant-hunt 
next week, and I am to go with him. I'm to have a leave in October. 
Ormsby managed it somehow ; he never fails whatever he takes in 
hand. Such a fright as I got yesterday ! There was a report in the 
camp Ormsby was going to England with despatches ; it's all a mis- 
take, however, he says. He believes he might have had the oppor- 
tunity, had he cared for it." 

If there was not much in these passing notices of his father, there 
was quite enough to impart to them an intense degree of interest. 
There is a wondrous charm, besides, in reading of the young days of 
hose we have only known in maturer life, in hearing of them when 
thev were fresh, ardent, and impetuous ; in knoAving, besides, how they 

H 



98 EARBINGTQX. 

"Were regarded by contemporaries, how loved and valued. It was not 
merely tliat Ornisby recurred m almost every page of this journal, 
but the record bore testimony to his superiority and tlie undisputed 
sway he exercised over his companions. This same power of domi- 
nating and directing had been the distinguishing feature of his after- 
life, and many an unruly and turbulent spirit had been reclaimed 
under Ormsb}^ Conj'crs's hands. 

As he read on he grew also to feel a strong interest for the writer 
himself; the very heartiness of the affection he bestowed on his father, 
and the noble generosity with whicli he welcomed every success of 
that "dear fellow Ornish}'," were more than enough to secure his 
interest for him. There was a bold, almost reckless dash, too, about 
Barrington which has a great charm occasionally for very young men. 
He adventured upon life pretty much as he would try to cross a river ; 
he never looked for a shallow nor inquired for a ford, but plunged 
boldly in, and trusted to his brave heart and his strong arms for the 
rest. No one, indeed, reading even these rough notes, could hesitate 
to pronounce which of the two would " make the spoon " and which 
" spoil the horn." Young Conyers was eager to find some mention 
of the incident to which Miss Barrington had vaguely alluded. He 
wanted to read Greorge Barriugton's own account before he opened 
the little pamphlet she gave him, but the journal closed years before 
this event ; and, although some of the letters came down to a later 
date, none approached the period he wanted. 

It was not till after some time that he remarked how much more 
unfrequently his father's name occurred in tlie latter portion of tho 
correspondence. Entire pages Avould contain no reference to him, 
and in the last letter of all there was this towards the end : " After 
all, I am almost sorry that I am first for purcliase, for I believe 
Ormsby is most anxious for his troop. I say ' I believe,' for he has not 
told me so, and Avhcn I offered to give way to him, he seemed half 
offended with me. You know what a bungler I am where a matter 
of any delicacy is to be treated, and you may easily fancy eitherthat 
I mismanaged the affair grossly, or that I am as grossly mistaken. 
One thing is certain, I'd see promotion far enougli, rather than let it 
make a coldness between us, which could never occur if he were as 
frank as he used to be. My dear aunt, I wish I had your wise head 
to counsel me, for I have a scheme in my mind which I have scarcely 
courage for without some advice, and for many reasons I cannot ask 
O.'s opinion. Between this and the next mail I'll think it over 
carefully, and tell you what I intend. 

" I told you that Ortnsby was gouig to marry one of the Governor- 



BAEEINGTON. 99 

General's daugliters. It is all off — at least, I hear so — and O. has 
asked for leave to go home. I suspect he is sorely cut up about this, 
but he is too proud a fellow to let the world see it. Report says that 
Sir Peregrine heard that he played. So he does, because he does 
everything, and everything well. If he does go to England, he will 
certainly pay you a visit. Make much of him for my sake; you 
could not make too much for his own." 

This was the last mention of his father, and he pondered long and 
thoughtfully over it. He saw, or fancied he saw, the first faiut glim- 
merings of a coldness between them, and he hastily turned to the 
printed report of the House of Commons' inquiry, to see what part 
his father had taken. His name occurred but once ; it was appended 
to an extract of a letter, addressed by him to the Governor- Greneral. 
It was a confidential report, and much of it omitted in publicatiou. 
It was throughout, however, a warm and generous testimony to 
Barrington's character. " I never knew a man," said he, " less 
capable of anything mean or unworthy ; nor am I able to imagine 
any temptation strong enough to warp him from what he believed to 
be right. That on a question of policy his judgment might be wrong, 
I am quite ready to admit, but I will maintain that, on a point of 
honour, he would, and must be, infallible." Underneath this pas- 
sage there was written, in Miss Barrington's hand, " Poor George 
never saw this ; it was not published till after his death." So in- 
terested did young Conyers feel as to the friendship between these 
two men, and what it could have been that made a breach between 
them — if breach there were — that he sat a long time without open- 
ing the little volume that related to the charge against Colonel 
Barrington. He had but to open it, however, to guess the spirit in 
which it was written. Its title Avas, " The Story of Samuel Edwardes, 
with an Account of the Persecutions and Tortures inflicted on him 
by Colonel George Barrington, when serving in command of the 
Forces of the Meer Nagheer Assahr, Eajah of Luckerabad, based 
on the Documents produced before the Committee of the House, and 
private authentic Information." Opposite to this lengthy title was 
an ill-executed woodcut of a young fellow tied up to a tree, and 
being flogged by two native Indians, with the inscription at foot : 
" Mode of celebrating His Majesty's Birthday, 4th of June, 18 — , at 
the Residence of Luckerabad." 

In the writhing figure of the youth, and the ferocious glee of his 
executioners, the artist had dis})layed all his skill in expression, and 
very unmistakably shown, besides, the spirit of the publication. I 

h2 



100 T;\KRI>'GTO>', 

have no intention to inflict this upon my reader. I will simply give 
him — and as briefly as I am able — its substance. 

The IJajali of Luckcrabad, an independent sovereign, living on the 
best of terms with the Government of the Compam', had obtained 
permission to employ an English officer in the chief command of his 
armv, a force of some twenty odd thousand, of all arms. It was 
essential that he should be one not only well acquainted with the 
details of command, but fully equal to the charge of organisation of a 
force; a man of energy and decision, well versed iu llindostance, 
and not altogether ignorant of Persian, in which, occaaionally, cor- 
respondence was carried on. Amongst the many candidates for an 
employment so certain to ensure the fortune of its possessor, Major 
Barrington, then a brevet Lieutenant-Colonel, was chosen. 

It is not improbable that, in mere technical details of his art, lie 
might have had many equal and some superior to him ; it was well 
known that his personal requisites were above all rivalry. He was a 
man of great size and strength, of a most commanding presence, an 
accomplished linguist in the various dialects of Central India, and a 
great master of all manly exercises. To these qualities he added an 
Oriental taste for splendour and pomp. It had always been his 
habit to live iu a style of costly extravagance, with the retinue of a 
petty Prince, and when he travelled it was with the following of a 
native chief 

Though naturally enough such a station as a separate command 
gave might be regarded as a great object of ambition by many, there 
was a good deal of surprise felt at the time that Barrington, re- 
putedly a man of large fortune, should have accepted it ; the more 
so since, by his contract, he bound himself for ton years to the Eajah, 
and thus for ever extinguished all prospect of advancement in his 
own service. There were all manner of guesses afloat as to his rea- 
sons. Some said that he was already so embarrassed by his extrava- 
gance, that it was his only exit out of difficulty ; others pretended 
that he was captivated by the gorgeous splendour of that Eastern 
life he loved so well ; that pomp, display, and magnificence were 
bribes he could not resist ; and a few% who aftected to see more 
nearly, whispered that he was unhappy of late, had grown peevish 
and uncompanionable, and sought any change, so that it took him 
out of his regiment. AVhatever the cause, he bade his brother- 
officers farewell without revealing it, and set out for his new desti- 
nation. He had never anticipated a life of ease or inaction, but he 
was equally far from imagining anything like what now awaited him. 
Corruption, falseliood, robbery, on every hand ! The army was little 



BARRINOTON, 101 

else tliaii a great brigand establishment, living on the peasants, and 
exacting, at tlie sword's point, whatever they wanted. There was 
no obedience to discipline. The Eajali troubled himself about no- 
thing but his pleasures, and, indeed, passed his days so drugged with, 
opium, as to be almost insensible to all around him. In the tri- 
bunals there was nothing but bribery, ami the object of every one 
seemed to be to amass fortunes as rapidly as possible, and then 
hasten away from a country so insecure and dangerous. 

For some days after his arrival, Barrington hesitated whether he 
would accept a charge so apparently hopeless ; his bold heart, how- 
ever, decided the doubt, and he resolved to remain. His first care 
was to look about him for one or two more trustworthy than the 
masses, if such there should be, to assist him, and the liajah referred 
him to his secretary for this purpose. It was with sincere pleasure 
Barrington discovered that this man was English — that is, his father 
had been an Englishman, and his mother was a Malabar slave in the 
llajah's household : his name was Edwardes, but called by the natives 
Ali Edwardes. He looked about sixty, but his real age was forty- 
six when Barrington came to the Residence. He was a man of con- 
siderable ability, uniting all the craft and subtlety of the Oriental 
with the dogged perseverance of the Briton. He had enjoyed the 
full favour of the Eajah for nigh twenty years, and was strongly 
averse to the appointment of an English officer to the command of 
the army, knowing full well the influence it would have over his own 
fortunes. He represented to the Rajah that the Company was onlv 
intriguing to absorb his dominions with their own ; that the new 
Commander-in-Chief would be their servant and not his ; that it was 
by such machinery as this they secretly possessed themselves of all 
knowledge of the native sovereigns, learned their weakness and their 
strength, and through such agencies hatched those plots and schemes 
by which many a chief had been despoiled of his state. 

The Rajah, however, saw that if he had a grasping Government on 
one side, he had an insolent and rebellious army on the other. There 
was not much to choose between them, but he took the side that he 
thought the least bad, and left the rest to Fate. 

Having failed with the Rajah, Edwardes tried what he could do 
with Barrington ; and certainly, if but a tithe of what he told hiin 
were true, the most natural thing in the world would have been that he 
should give up his appointment, and quit for ever a land so hopelessly 
sunk in vice and corruption. Cunning and crafty as he was, however, 
he made one mistake, ana that an irreparable one. Wiien dilating 
on the insubordination of the artnv, its lawless ways and libertine 



102 baheington. 

habits, he declared that nothing sliort of a superior force in tlie field 
could have auy chance of enforcing discipline. " As to a command," 
said he, " it is simply ludicrous. Let any man try it, and they will 
cut him down in the very midst of his staff." 

That unlucky speech decided the question ; and Barringtou simply 
said : 

" I have heard plenty of this sort of thing in India — I never saw 
it— I'll stay." 

Stay he did : and he did more, he reformed that rabble, and made 
cf tliem a splendid force, able, disciplined, and obedient. "With the 
influence of his success, added to that derived from tlie confidence 
reposed in him by the Eajah, he introduced many and beneficial 
changes into the administration : he punished peculators by military 
law, and brought knavish suttlers to the drum-head. In f;xct, by the 
exercise of a salutary despotism, he rescued the state from an im- 
pending bankruptcy and ruin, placed its finances in a healthy con- 
dition, and rendered the country a model of prosperity and content- 
ment. The Eajah had, like most of his rank and class, been in liti- 
gation, occasionally in armed contention, with some of his neighbours, 
one especially, an uncle, whom he accused of having robbed him, 
when his guardian, of a large share of his heritage. This suit had 
gone on for years, varied at times by little raids into each other's 
territories, to bum villages and carry away cattle. Though with a 
force more than sufficient to have carried the question with a strong 
liand, Barringtou preferi-ed the more civilised mode of leaving the 
matter in dispute to others, and suggested the Company as arbi- 
trator. The negotiations led to a lengthy correspondence, in which 
Edwardes and his son, a youth of seventeen or eighteen, were actively 
occupied, and although Barringtou was not without cei'tain mis- 
givings as to their trustworthiness and honesty, he knew their ca- 
pacity, and had not, besides, any one at all capable of replacing 
them. While these affairs w-ere yet pending, Barringtou married the 
daughter of the Meer, a young girl whose mother had been a convert 
to Christianity, and who had herself been educated by a Catholic 
missionary. She died, in the second year of her marriage, giving 
birth to a daughter ; but Barringtou had now become so completely 
the centre of all action m the state, that the Eajah interfered in no- 
thing, leaving in his hands the undisputed control of the Govern- 
ment ; nay, more, he made him his sou by adoption, leaving to him 
not alone all his immense personal property, but the inheritance to 
his throne. Though Barringtou was advised by all the great legal 
authorities he consulted in England that such a bequest could not be 



BAERINQTON. 103 

good in law, nor a British subject be permitted to succeed to the 
rights of an Eastern sovereignty, he obstinately declared tliat the 
point was yet untried ; that however theoretically the opinion might 
be correct, practically the question had not been determined, nor 
had any case yet occurred to rule as a precedent on it. If he was 
not much of a lawyer, he was of a temperament that could not brook 
opposition. In fact, to make him take any particular road in life, 
you had only to erect a barricade on it. AVlien, therefore, he was 
told the matter could not bo, his answer was, " It shall !" Calcutta 
lawyers, men deep in knowledge of Oriental law and custom, learned 
Moonshees and Pundits, were despatched by him, at enormous cost, 
to England, to confer with the great authorities at home. Agents 
were sent over to procure the influence of great Parliamentary 
speakers and the leaders in the Press to the cause. Eor a matter 
which, in the beginning, he cared scarcely anything, if at all, he had 
now grown to feel the most intense and absorbing interest. Half 
persuading himself that the personal question was less to him than 
the great privilege and right of an Englishman, he declared that he 
would rather die a beggar in the defence of the cause, than abandon 
it. So possessed was he, indeed, of his rights, and so resolved to 
maintain them, supported by a firm belief that they would and must 
be ultimately conceded to him, that in the correspondence with the 
other chiefs every reference which spoke of the future sovereignty of 
Luckerabad included his own name and title, and this with an osten- 
tation quite Oriental. 

"Whether Edwardes had been less warm and energetic in the cause 
than Barrington expected, or whether his counsels were less palatable, 
certain it is he grew daily more and more distrustful of him ; but an 
event soon occurred to make this suspicion a certainty. 

The negotiations between the Meer and his uncle had been so 
successfully conducted by Barrington, that the latter agreed to give 
up three " Pegunnahs," or villages, he had unrightfully seized upon, 
and to pay a heavy mulct besides for the unjust occupation of them. 
This settlement had been, as may be imagined, a work of much time 
and labour, and requiring not only immense forbearance and patience, 
but intense watchfulness and unceasing' skill and craft. Edwardes, 
of course, was constantly engaged in the affair, with the details of 
which he had been for years familiar. Now, although Barrington 
was satisfied with the zeal he displayed, he was less so with his 
counsels, Edwardes always insisting that in every dealing with an 
Oriental you must inevitably be beaten if you would not make use 
of all the stratagem and deceit he is sure to employ against you. 



104 BAEIUNGTOX, 

There was not a day ou which the wily secretary did not suggest 
some cunning expedient, some clever trick, and Barrington's abrupt 
rejection of them only impressed him with a notion of his weakness 
and deficiency. 

One morning — it was after many defeats — Edwardes appeared with 
the draft of a document he had been ordered to draw out, and in 
Avldch, of liis own accord, he had made a large use of threats to the 
neighbouring eliief, should he continue to protract these proceedings. 
Tiiese threats very unmistakably pointed to the dire consequences of 
opposing the great Government of the Company, for, as the writer 
argued, the succession to the Ameer being already vested in an Eng- 
lishman, it is perfectly clear the powerful nation he belongs to wi}l 
take a very summary mode of dealing with tliis question if not settled 
before he comes to the tiirone. He pressed, therefore, for an imme- 
diate settlement, as the best possible escape from difficulty. 

Barrington scouted the suggestion indignantly ; he would not hear 
of it. 

"What," said he, "is it while these very rights are yet in litiga- 
tion that I am to employ them as a menace? AVho is to secure me 
being one day Eajah of Luckerabad ? Not you, certainly, who have 
never ceased to speak coldly of my claims. Throw that draft into the 
fire, and never propose a like one to me again !" 

The rebuke was not forgotten. Another draft was, however, pre- 
pared, and in due time tlie long-pending negotiations were concluded, 
the Meer's uncle having himself come to Luckerabad to ratify the 
contract, which, being engrossed on a leaf of the Eajah's Koran, was 
duly signed and scaled by both. 

It was during the feritivities incidental to this visit that Edwardes, 
who had of late made a display of wealtli and splendour quite unac- 
countable, made a proposal to the Hajah for the liand of liis only 
unmarried daughter, sister to Barrington's wife. The Eajah, long 
enervated by excess and opium, probably cared little about the 
matter: there were, indeed, but a few moments in each day when he 
could be fairly pronounced awake. He referred the question to 
Barrington. Not satisfied with an insulting rejection of the pro- 
posal, Barrington, whose passionate moments were almost madness, 
tauntingly asked by what means Edwardes had so suddenly acquired 
the wealth which had prompted tliis demand, lie hinted that the 
sources of liis fortune were more than suspected, and at last, carried 
away by anger, for the discussion grew violent, he drew from his desk 
a slip of paper, and held it up. " AVhen your father was drummed 
out of the 4iih Bengal Fusiliers for theft, of which this is the record, 



BAEEINGTON. 105 

tbe family was scarcely so ambitioas." For an instant Edwardea 
seemed overcome almost to fainting; but he rallied, and, with a 
menace of liis clenched hand, but without one Avord, he hurried away 
before Barrington could resent the insult. It was said that he did 
not return to his house, but, taking the horse of an orderly that he 
found at the door, rode away from the palace, and on the same night 
■ crossed the frontier into a neighbouring state. 

It was on the following morning, as Barrington was passing a 
cavalry regiment in review, that young Edwardes, forcing his way 
through the staff, insolently asked, " AYliat had become of his father ?" 
and at the same instant levelling a pistol, he fired. The ball passed 
through Barrington's shako, and so close to the head that it grazed 
it. It was only with a loud shout to abstain that Barrington arrested 
the gleaming sabres that now flourished over his head. " Tour father 
has fled, youngster!" cried he. " Wiieu you show him that''' — and 
he struck him across the face with his horsewhip — " tell him how near 
you were to have been an assassin !" AVith this savage taunt, he gave 
orders that the young fellow should be conducted to the nearest 
frontier, and turned adrift. Neither father nor son ever were seen 
there again. 

Little did George Barrington suspect what was to come of that 
morning's work. Through what channel Edwardes worked at first 
was not known, but that he succeeded in raising up for himself 
friends in England is certain ; by their means the very gravest 
charges were made against Barrington. One allegation was that by 
a forged document, claiming to be the assent of the English Govern- 
ment to his succession, he had obtained the submission of several 
native chiefs to his rule and a cession of territory to the Eajah 
of Luckerabad ; and another charged him with having cruelly tor- 
tured a British subject named Samuel Edwardes — an investigation 
entered into by a Committee of the House, and becoming, while it 
lasted, one of the most exciting subjects of public interest. Nor was 
the anxiety lessened by the death of the elder Edwardes, which 
occurred during the inquiry, and which Barrington's enemies declared 
to be caused by a broken heart ; and the martyred, or murdered 
Edwardes, was no uncommon heading to a paragraph of the time. 

Conyers turned to the massive Blue-book that contained the pro- 
ceedings " in Committee," but only to glance at the examination of 
•witnesses, whose very names were unfamiliar to him. He could per- 
ceive, however, that the inquiry was a long one, and, from the tone 
of the member at whose motion it was instituted, angry and vin- 
dictive. 



106 BARRINGTON. 

Edwardes appeared to have preferred charges of long-continued 
persecution and oppression, and there was native testimony in abun- 
dance to sustain the allegation ; wliile the Britisli Commissioner sent 
to Luckerabad came back so prejudiced against Barriugton, from his 
proud and haughty bearing, that his report was unfavourable to hinx 
in all respects. There were, it is true, letters from various high 
quarters, all speaking of Barrington's early career as both honourable 
and distinguished ; and, lastly, there was one signed Ormsby Conyers, 
a warm-hearted testimony " to the most straightforward gentleman 
and truest friend I have ever known." These were words the young 
man read and re-read a dozen times. 

Conyers turned eagerly to read what decision had been come to by 
the Committee, but the proceedings had come abruptly to an end by 
George Barrington's death. A few lines at the close of the pamphlet 
mentioned that, being summoned to appear before the Governor- 
General in Council at Calcutta, Barrington refused. An armed force 
was despatched to occupy Luckerabad, on the approach of which 
Barrington rode forth to meet them, attended by a brilliant staff — 
with what precise object none knew — but the siglit of a considerable 
force, drawn up at a distance in what seemed order of battle, implied 
at least an intention to resist. Coming on towards the advanced 
pickets at a fast gallop, and not slackening speed when challenged, 
the men, wlio were Bengal infantry, fired, and Barrington fell, pierced 
by four bullets. He never uttci^ed a word after, though he lingered 
on till evening. The force was commanded by Lieutenant- General 
Conyers. 

There was little more to tell. The Eajah implicated in the charges 
brouglit against Barrington, and totally unable to defend himself, 
despatched a confidential minister, Meer Mozarjah, to Europe to do 
what he might by bribery. This unhappy blunder filled the measure 
of his ruin, and after a very brief inquiry the Eajah was declared to 
have forfeited his throne and all his rights of succession. The Com- 
pany took possession of Luckerabad as a portion of British India, 
but from a generous compassion towards the deposed chief, graciously 
accorded him a pension of ten thousand rupees a month during his 
life. 

JNly reader will bear in mind tliat I have given him this recital not 
as it came before Conyers, distorted by falsehood and disfigured by 
misstatements, but have presented the facts as nearly as they might 
be derived fi'om a candid examination of all the testimony adduced. 
Ere I return to my own tale, T ought to add that Edwardes, dis- 
credited and despised by some, upheld and maintained by otliers, left 



BAEEINQTON. 107 

Calcutta with the proceeds of a handsome subscription raised in his 
behalf. Whether he went to reside in Europe, or retired to some 
other part of India, is not known. He was heard of no more. 

As for the Eajah, his efforts still continued to obtain a revision of 
the sentence pronounced upon him, and his case was one of those 
which newspapers slur over and privy councils try to escape from, 
leaving to Time to solve what Justice has no taste for. 

But every now and tlien a Blue-book would appear, headed " East 
India (the deposed Eajah of Luckerabad)," while a lino in an even- 
ing paper would intimate that the Envoy of Meer Nagheer Assahr 
had arrived at a certain West-end hotel to prosecute the suit of his 
Highness before the Judicial Committee of the Lords. How plea- 
santly does a paragraph dispose of a whole life-load of sorrows and of 
wrongs that perhaps are breaking the hearts that carry them ! 

While I once more apologise to my reader for the length to which 
this narrative has run, I owe it to myself to state that, had I pre- 
sented it in the garbled and incorrect version which came before 
Couyers, and had I interpolated all the misconceptions he incurred, 
the mistakes he first fell into and then corrected, I should have been 
far more tedious and intolerable still ; and now I am again under 
weigh, with easy canvas, but over a calm sea, and under a sky but 
slightly clouded. 



CHAPTER XIV. 



BARRINGTONS FOKD. 



CoNYEES had scarcely finished his reading when he was startled by 
the galloping of horses under his window ; so close, indeed, did they 
come that they seemed to shake the little cottage with their tramp. 
He looked out, but they had already swept past, and were hidden 
from his view by the copse that shut out the river. At the same 
instant he heard the confused sound of many voices, and what sounded 
to him like the plash of horses in the stream. 

Urged by a strong curiosity, he hurried down stairs and made 
straight for the river by a path that led through the trees, but before 
he could emerge from the cover he heard cries of " jNTot there ! not 
there! Lower down!" "No, no! up higher! up higher! Head 



108 13AUK1XGT0K. 

up tlie stream, or you'll be caught in tlic gash." " Don't hurry ; 
you've time enough !" 

When he gained the bank it was to see three horsemen, who seemed 
to be cheering, or, as it might be, warning a young girl, who, mounted 
on a powerful black horse, was deep in the stream, and evidently en- 
deavouring to cross it. Her hat hung on the back of her neck by its 
ribbon, and her hair had also Mien down, but one glance was enough 
to show that she was a consummate horsewoman, and whose courage 
was equal to her skill ; for while steadily keeping her horse's bead to 
the swift current, she was careful not to control him overmuch, or 
impede the free action of his powers. Heeding, as it seemed, very 
little the counsels or warnings showered on her by the bystanders, 
not one of whom, to Couyers's intense amazement, had ventured to 
accompany iier, she urged her horse steadily forward. 

" Don't hurry — take it easy !" called out one of the horsemen, as 
he looked at his watch. " You have lifty-thrce minutes left, and it's 
all turf." 

" She'll do it — I know she will !" " She'll lose — she must lose !" 
"It's ten miles to Toynes Gap I" "It's more!" "It's less!" 
"There! — see! — she's in, by Jove ! she's in!" These varying com- 
ments were now arrested by the intense interest of the moment, the 
horse having impatiently plunged into a deep pool, and struck out to 
swim with all the violent exertion of an affrighted animal. " Keep 
liis head up !" " Let him free — quite free !" " Get your foot clear 
of the stirrup !" cried out the bystanders, while in lower tones they 
muttered, " She would cross here!" " It's all her own fault!" Just 
at this instant she turned in her saddle, and called out somethings 
which, drowned in the rush of the river, did not reach them. 

" Don't you see," cried Couyers, passionately, for his temper could 
no longer endure the impassive attitude of this on-looking, " one of 
the reins is broken, her bridle is smashed ?" 

And, without another word, he sprang into the river, partly wading, 
partly swimming, and soon reached the place where the horse, re- 
strained by one rein alone, swam in a small circle, fretted by restraint 
and maddened by inability to resist. 

" Leave him to me — let go your rein," said Conyers, as he grasped 
the bridle close to the bit ; and the animal, accepting the guidance, 
suilered himself to be led quietly till he reached the shallow. Once 
there, he bounded wildly forward, and, splashing through the current, 
leaped up the bank, where he was immediately caught by the others. 

By the time Conyers had gained the land, the girl had quitted her 
saddle and entered the cottage, never so much as once turning a look 



BAERINGTOX. 109 

on him wlio had rescued her. If he coiild not lielp feeling niorlified 
at this show of indifterence, he was not less puzzled by the manner 
of the others, who, perfectly careless of his dripping condition, dis- 
cussed amongst themselves how the bridle broke, and what miglit 
have happened if the leather had proved tougher. 

" It's always the way witli her," muttered one, sulkily. " I told 
lier to ride the match in a ring-snaffle, but she's a mule in obstinacy 
She'd have won easily — ay, with five minutes to spare — if slie'd have 
crossed at Nunsford. 1 passed there last week without wetting a 
girth." 

"She'll not thank ^o?;, young gentleman, whoever you are," said 
the oldest of the party, turning to Conyers, " for your gallantry. 
She'll only remember you as having helped her to lose a wager !" 

" That's true !" cried another. " I never got as much as thank 
you for catching her horse one day at Lyrath, though it threw me 
out of the whole run afterwards." 

" And tliis was a wnger, then ?" said Conyers. 

" Tes. Au Englisli officer that is stopping at Sir Charles's said 
yesterday that nobody could ride from Lowe's Tolly to Eoynes as tlie 
crow flies ; and four of us took him up — twenty-five pounds apiece — 
that Polly Dill would do it—and against time, too — an hour and 
forty." 

" On a horse of mine," chimed in another — '• Baythci'shin !" 

"I must say it does not tell very well for your cliivalry in these 
parts," said Conyers, angrily. " Could no one be found to do the 
match without risking a young girl's life on it ?" 

Avery hearty burst of merriment met this speech, and the elder of 
the party rejoined : 

" You must be very new to this country, or you'd not have said 
that, Sir. There's not a man in tlie hunt could get as much out of a 
horse as that girl." 

" Not to say," added another, with a sly laugh, " that the English- 
man gave five to one against her when he heard she was going to 
ride." 

Disgusted by what he could not but regard as a most disgraceful 
wager, Conyers turned away, and walked into the house. 

" Go and change your clothes as fast as you can," said Miss Bar- 
rington, as she met him in the porch. " I am quite provoked you 
should have wetted your feet in such a cause." 

It was no time to ask for explanations, and Conyers hurried away 
to his room, marvelling much at what he had heard, but even more 
astonished by the attitude of cool and easy indifference as to what 



no BAERINGTON. 

might have imperilled a human life. He had often heard of the reck- 
less habits and absurd extravagances of Irish life, but he fancied that 
they appertained to a time long past, and that society had gradually 
assumed the tone and the temper of the English. Then he began to 
wonder to what class in life these persons belonged. The girl, so 
well as he could see, was certainly handsome, and appeared ladylike ; 
and yet, why had she not even by a word acknowledged the service 
be rendered her? And, lastly, what could old Miss Barrington mean 
by that scornful speech ? These were all great puzzles to liim, and, 
like many great puzzles, only the more embarrassing tlie more they 
were thought over. 

The sound of voices drew him now to the window, and he saw one 
of the riding party in converse with Darby at the door. They talked 
in a low tone together, and laughed ; and then the horseman, chucking 
a half-crown towards Darby, said aloud, 

"And tell her that we'll send the boat down for her as soon as we 
get back." 

Darby touched his hat gratefully, and was about to retire within 
the house, when he caught sight of Conyers at the window. He 
waited till the rider had turned the angle of tlie road, and then said, 

"That's Mr. St. George. They used to 'call him the Slasher, he 
killed so many in duels long ago ; but he's like a lamb now." 
" And the young lady ?" 

"The young lady is it!" said Darby, with the air of one not 
exactly concurring in the designation. " She's old Dill's daughter, 
the doctor that attends you." 
""What was it all about?" 

" It was a bet they made with an English captain this morning 
that she'd ride from Lowe's Folly to the Gap in an hour and a half. 
The captain took a hundred on it, because he thought she'd have to 
go round by the bridge ; and they pretinded the same, for they gave 
all kinds of directions about clearing the carts out of the road, for it's 
market-day at Thomastown; and away went the Captain as hard as 
he could, to be at the bridge first, to " time her," as she passed. But 
he has won the money !" sighed he, for the thought of so much Irish 
coin going into a Saxon pocket completely overcame him ; " and, 
what's more," added he, " the gentleman says it was all your fault !" 
"All my fault!" cried Conyers, indignantly. "All my fault! 
Do they imagine that I either knew or cared for their .trumpery 
wager ! I saw a girl struggling in a danger from which not one of 
them had the manliness to rescue her !" 



BAKIIINQTON. 311 

'•'Oil, take my word for it," burst in Darby, "it's not courage they 
want !" 

" Then it is something iar better than even courage, and I'd like to 
tell them so." 

And lie turned away as much disgusted with Darby as witli tlie 
rest of his countrymen. Now, all the anger that filled his breast was 
not, in reality, provoked by the want of gallantry that he condemned ; 
a portion, at least, was owing to the marvellous indiiference the young 
lady had manifested to her preserver. Was peril sucli an every-day 
incident of Irish life that no one cared for it, or was gratitude a 
quality not cultivated in this strange land ? Sucli were the puzzles 
that tormented him as he descended to the drawiug-room. 

As he opened the door, he heard Miss Barrington's voice, in a tone 
which he rightly guessed to be reproof, and caught the words, " Just 
as unwise as it is unbecoming," when he entered. 

" Mr. Conyers, Miss Dill," said the old lady, stiffly ; " the young 
gentleman who saved you — the heroine you rescued !" The two 
allocutions were delivered with a gesture towards each. To cover a 
moment of extreme awkwardness, Conyers blundered out something 
about being too happy, and a slight service, and a hope of jio ill 
consequences to herself. 

" Have no fears on that score, Sir," broke in Miss Dinah. " Manly 
young ladies are the hardiest things in nature. They are as insensible 

to danger as they are to " She stopped, and grew crimson, partly 

from anger, atid partly from the unspoken word, that had almost 
escaped her. 

" Nay, Madam," said Polly, quietly, " I am really very mucli 
* ashamed.' " And, simple as the words were, Miss Barrington felt 
the poignancy of their application to herself, and her hand trembled 
over tlie embi'oidery she was working. She tried to appear calm, 
but in vain ; her colour came and went, and the stitches, in spite of 
her, grew irregular ; so that, after a moment's struggle, she pushed 
the frame away and left the room. While this very brief and pain- 
ful incident was passing, Conyers was wondering to himself how the 
dashing horsewoman, with flushed cheek, flashing eye, and dishevelled 
hair, could possibly be the quiet, demure girl, with a downcast look, 
and almost Quaker-like simplicity of demeanour. It is but fair to 
add, though he himself did not discover it, that the contributions of 
Miss Dinah's wardrobe, to which poor Polly was reduced for dress, 
were not exactly of a nature to heighten her personal attractions ; 
nor did a sort of short jacket, and a very much befiounced petticoat, 



il2 BAKRINQTOX. 

set off tlie girl's figure to advantage. Polly never raised her eyes 
i'rom the work she was sewing us INIiss Barringtou withdrew, but, in 
a low, gentle voice, said, " It was very good of you, Sir, to coine to 
my rescue, but you mustn't think ill of my countrymen for not 
having done so ; they liad given their word of honour not to lead a 
fence, nor open a gate, nor, in fact, aid me in any way." 

" So that, if they could win their wager, your peril was of little 
matter," broke he in. 

She gave a little low quiet laugh, perhaps as mucli at the energy 
as at the words of his speech. "After all," said she, "a wetting is 
no great misfortune; the worst punishment of my offence was one 
that I never contemplated." 

" "What do you mean ?" asked he. 

" Doing penance for it in this costume," said she, drawing out the 
stiff folds of an old brocaded silk, and displaying a splendour of 
flowers that might have graced a peacock's tail ; " I never so much 
as dreamed of this !" 

There was something so comic in the way she conveyed her dis- 
tress, that he laughed outright. She joined him; and they were at 
once at their ease together. 

" I think Miss Barringtou called you Mr. Conyers," said she, 
" and if so, I have the happiness of feeling that my gratitude is be- 
stowed where already there has been a large instalment of the sen- 
timent. It is you who have been so generous and so kind to my 
poor brother." 

" Has he told you, then, what we have been planning together ?" 

" He has told me all that you had planned out for him," said she, 
with a very gracious smile, wliich very slightly coloured her cheek, 
and gave great softness to her expression. " My only fear was that 
the poor boy should have lost his head completely, and perhaps ex- 
aggerated to himself your intentions towards him, for, after all, I 
can scarcely think " 

" "What is it that you can scarcely thiidt?" asked he, after a long 
pause. 

" Not to say," resumed she, unheeding his question, " that I can- 
not imagine liow this came about. What could have led him to tell 
you — a perfect stranger to liiin — his hojies aiid fears, liis struggles 
and his sorrows ? How could you — by what magic did you inspire 
him with that trustful confidence which made him open his whole 
heart before you ? Poor Tom, who 7ieYer before had any confessor 
than myself!" 

" Shall I tell yen how it came about ? It was talking of you." 



BATIUINGTON. 

"Of me I — talking of me!" and her cheek now flushed ir.Jie 
dt-eply. 

"Yes. We liad rambled on ovei- fifty tlieines, not one of which 
seemed to attacli liim strongly, till, in some passing allusion to his 
own cares and difficulties, he mentioned one who has never ceased to 
guide and comfort him ; Avho shared not alone his sorrows, but his 
hard hours of labour, and turned away from her own pleasant paths 
to tread the dreary road of toil beside him." 

"I thiidv he might have kept all this to himself," said she, with a 
tone of almost severitv. 

" How could he? How was it possible to tell me his story, and 
not touch upon what imparted the few tints of better fortune that 
lighted it? I'm certain, besides, that there is a sort of pride in re- 
vealing how much of sympathy and affection we have derived from 
those better than ourselves, and I could see that he was actually 
vain of what you had done for him." 

" I repeat, he might have kept this to himself. But let us leave 
this matter ; and now tell me — for I own I can hardly trust my poor 
brother's triumphant tale — tell me seriously what the plan is?" 

Conyers hesitated for a few seconds, embarrassed how to avoid 
mention of himself, or to alkide but passingly to his own share in the 
project. At last, as though deciding to dash boldly into the ques- 
tion, he said : " I told him, if he'd go out to India, I'd give him such 
a letter to my father that his fortune would be secure. My gover- 
nor is something of a swell out there" — and he reddened, partly in 
shame, partly in pride, as he tried to disguise his feeling by an afiec- 
tation of ease — " and that with him for a friend, Tom would be cer- 
tain of success. Tou smile at my confidence ; but you don't know 
India, and what scores of tine things are — so to say — to be had for 
asking ; and although doctoring is all very well, there are fifty other 
ways to make a fortune faster. Tom could be a Receiver of Revenue ; 
he might be a Political Resident. Tou don't know what they get. 
There's a fellow at Baroda has four thousand rupees a month, and I 
don't know how much more for dak-money." 

" I can't help smiling," said she, " at the notion of poor Tom in a 
palanquin. But, seriously, Sir, is all this possible? or might it not 
be feared that your father, when he came to see my brother — who, 
with many a worthy quality, has not much to prepossess in his. 
favour — when, I say, he came to see your protege, is it not likely 
t'nat he might — might — hold him more cheaply than you do ?" 

"■'■ Not when he presents a letter from me — not when it's I that 
hive taken him up. You'll believe me, perhaps, when I tell you 



1.14 EAREINGTON. 

what happened when I was but ten years old. We were up at Eau- 
goon, in the Hills, when a dreadful hurricane swept over the country, 
destroying everything before it: rice, paddy, tlie indigo-crop, all were 
carried away, and tlie poor people left totally destitute. A subscrip- 
tion-list was handed about amongst the British residents, to aflbrd 
some aid in the calamity, and it was my tutor, a native Moonshee, 
who went about to collect the sums. One morning he came back 
somewhat disconsolate at his want of succesy. A payment of eight 
thousand rupees had to be made for grain on that day, and he had 
not, as he hoped and expected, the money ready. He talked freely 
to me of his disappointment, so that at last, my feelmgs being 
worked upon, I took up my pen and wrote down my name on the 
list, with the sum of eight thousand rupees to it. Shocked at what 
he regarded as an act of levity, he carried the paper to my father, 
who at once said, ' Fred wrote it ; his name shall not be dis- 
honoured ;' and the money was paid. I ask you, now, am I reckon- 
ing too much on one who coiild do that, and for a mere child, too?" 

" That was nobly done," said she, with enthusiasm ; and though 
Conyers went on, wdth warmth, to tell more of his father's generous 
nature, she seemed less to listen than to follow out some thread of 
her own reflections. Was it some speculaaon as to the temperament 
the son of such a father might possess ? or was it some pleasurable 
reverie regarding one who might do any extravagance and yet be 
forgiven ? My reader may guess this, perhaps, I cannot. Whatever 
her speculation, it lent a very charming expression to her features — 
that air of gentle, tranquil happiness we like to believe the lot of 
guileless, simple natures. 

Conyers, like many j'ouug men of his order, was very fond of talk- 
ing of himself, of his ways,'his habits, and his temper, and she listened 
to him very prettily — so prettily, indeed, that when Darby, slyly 
peeping in at the half-opened door, announced tliat the boat had 
come, he felt well inclined to pitch the messenger into the stream. 

" I must go and say good-by to Miss Barrington," said Polly, 
rising. " I hope that this rustling finery will impart some dignity to 
my demeanour." And drawing wide the massive folds, she made a 
ve'ry deep curtsey, throwing back her head haughtily as she resumed 
lier height in admirable imitation of a bygone schoel of manners. 

"Very well — very well indeed ! Quite as like what it is meant for 
as is Miss Polly Dill for the station she counterfeits!" said Miss 
Dinah, as, throwing wide the door, she stood before them. 

" I am overwhelmed by your flattery, Madam," said Polly, who, 
though very red, lost none of her self-possession ; " but I feel that, 




/ayie^' ^e(2yi/e' 6/^cm/z/, 



/ <<-■ 



BAEEINGTON. 115 

like the traveller who tried on Charlemagne's aruiour, I am i"ar more 
equal to combat in my every-day clotlies." 

" Do not enter the lists with me in either," said Miss Diaali, with 
u look of the haughtiest insolence. " Mr. Conyers, will you let me 
show you my flower-garden ?" 

" Delighted ! But I will first see Miss Dill to her bout." 

" As you please, Sir," said the old lady ; and she withdrew with a 
proud toss of her head that was very unmistakable in its import. 

" "What a severe correction that was !" said Polly, half gaily, as she 
went along, leaning on his arm. " And yoit know that, whatever my 
offending, there was no mimicry in it. I was simply thinking of some 
great-grandmother who had perhaps captivated the heroes of Dettingen; 
and, talking of heroes, how courageous ol you to come to my rescue." 

Was it that her arm only trembled slightly, or did it really press 
gently on his own as she said this ? Certainly Conyers inclined to 
the latter hypothesis, for he drew her more closely to his side, and 
said, " Of course I stood by you. She was all in the wrong, and I 
mean to tell her so." 

" Not if you would serve me," said she, eagerly. " I have paid the 
penalty, and I object strongly to be sentenced again. Oh, here's the 
boat !" 

" Why, it's a mere skiff. Are you safe to trust yourself in such a 
thing?" asked he, for the canoe-shaped " cot" was new to him. 

" Of course !" said she, lightly stepping in. " There is even room 
for another." Then, hastily changing her theme, she asked, " May I 
tell poor Tom what you have said to me, or is it just possible that you 
will come up one of these days and see us ?" 

" If I might be permitted " 

" Too much honour for us !" said she, with such a capital imitation 
of his voice aud manner that he burst into a laugh in spite of himself. 

" Mayhap Miss Barrington was not so far wrong, after all : you are 
a terrible mimic." 

" Is it a promise, then ? Am I to say to my brother you will come ?" 
said she, seriously. 

" Paith fully !" said he, waving his hand, for the boatmen had 
already got the skiff under weigh, and were sending her along like an 
arrow from a bow. 

Polly turned and kissed her hand to him, and Conyers muttered 
something over his own stupidity for not being beside her, and then 
turned sulkily back towards the cottage. A few years ago and he had 
thought he could have passed his life here ; there was a charm in the 
unbroken tranquillity that seemed to satisfy the longings of hia heart, 

i2 



IIG BAEUINOTON. 

aud now, all of a, sudden, the place appeared desolate. Have you never, 
dear reader, felt, in gazing on some fair landscape, with mountain, and 
sti-eam, and forest before you, that the scene was perfect, wanting 
nothing in form, or tone, or colour, till suddenly a flash of strong 
sunlight from behind a cloud lit up some spot with a glorious 
lustre, to fade away as quickly into the cold tint it had worn before — 
have you not felt then, I say, that the picture had lost its marvellous 
attraction, and that the very soul of its beauty had departed ? In 
vain you try to recal the past impression ; your memory will mourn 
over the lost, and refuse to be comforted. And so is it often in life : 
the momentary charm that came unexpectedly can become all in all 
to our imaginations, and its departure leave a blank, like a death, 
behind it. 

Nor was he altogether satisfied with Miss Barrington. The "old 
woman " — alas ! for his gallantry, it was so that he called her to him- 
self — Avas needlessly severe. Why should a mere piece of harmless 
levity be so visited. At all events, he felt certain that he himself 
would have shown a more generous spirit. Indeed, when Polly had 
quizzed him, he took it all good naturedly, and by thus turning his 
thought to his natural goodness and the merits of his character, he 
at length grew somewhat more well-dispoiscd to the world at large. 
He knew he was naturally forgiving, and h(! felt he was very generous. 
Scores of fellows, bred up as he was, would have been perfectly un- 
endurable ; they would have presumed on their position, and done 
this, that, and t'other. Not one of them would have dreamed of 
taking up a poor ungainly bumpkin, a country doctor's cub, and 
making a man of him ; not one of them would have had the heart 
to conceive or the energy to carry out such a project. And yet this 
he would do. Polly herself, sceptical as Sihe was, should be brought 
to admit that he had kept his word. Selfish fellows would limit their 
plans to their own engagements, and weak fellows could be laughed 
out of their intentions; but he flattered himself that he was neither 
of these, and it was really fortunate that the world should see how 
little spoiled a fine nature could be, though surrounded with all the 
temptations that are supposed to be dangerous. 

In this happy frame— for he was now happy — he re-entered the 
cottage. " What a coxcomb!" will say my reader. Be it so. But 
it was a coxcomb who wanted to be something better. 

Miss Barrington met him in the porch, not a trace of her late dis- 
pleasure on her face, but with a pleasant smile she said, " I have just 
got a few lines from my brother. He writes in excellent spirits, for 
he has gained a lawsuit; not a very important case, but it puts 



BARRIXGTON. 117 

US in a position to carry out a little project wo are full of. He will 
be here by Saturday, and hopes to bring with him an old and valued 
friend, the Attorney- Greneral, to spend a few days with us. I am 
therefore able to promise 3'oa an ample recompense for all the loneli- 
ness of your present life. I have cautiously abstained from telling 
my brother who you are ; I keep the delightful surprise for the 
moment of your meeting. Tour name, though associated with some 
sad memories, will bring him back to the happiest period of his life." 

Conyers made some not very intelligible reply about his reluctance 
to impose himself on them at such a time, but she stopped him with 
a good-humoured smile, and said : 

" Tour father's son should know that where a Barrington lived he 
had a home — not to say you have already paid some of the tribute of 
this homeliness, and seen me very cross and ill tempered. Well, let 
us not speak of that now. I have your word to remain here." And 
she left him to attend to her household cares, while he strolled into 
the garden, half amused, half embarrassed by all the strange and new 
interests that had grown up so suddenly around him. 



CHAPTER XV. 



AN EXPLORING EXPEDITION. 



Whether from simple caprice, or that Lady Cobham desired to 
mark her disapprobation of Polly Dill's share in the late wager, is not 
open to me to say, but the festivities at Cobham were not, on that 
day, graced or enlivened by her presence. If the comments on her 
absence were brief, they were pungent, and some wise reflections, 
too, were uttered as to the dangers that must inevitably attend all 
attempts to lift people into a sphere above their own. Poor human 
nature ! that unlucky culprit who is flogged for everything and for 
everybody, bore the brunt of these severities, and it was declared that 
Polly had only done what any other girl " in her rank of life " might 
have done ; and this being settled, the company went to luncheon, 
their appetites none the worse for the small auto-da-fe they had just 
celebrated. 

" Tou'd have lost your money, Captain," whispered Ambrose Bushe 
to Stapylton, as they stood talking together in a window recess, " if 



118 BARRINGTON. 

that girl had only taken the river three hundred yards higher vip. 
Even as it was, she'd have breasted her horse at the bank if the 
bridle had not given way. I suppose you have seen the place ?" 

" I regret to say I have not. They tell me it's one of the strongest 
rapids in the river." 

*' Let me describe it to you," replied he ; and at once set about a 
picture, in which certainly no elements of peril were forgotten, and 
all the dangers of rocks and rapids were' given with due emphasis. 
Stapyltou seemed to listen with fitting attention, throwing out the 
suitable "Indeed! is it possible!" and such-like interjections, his 
mind, however, by no means absorbed by the narrative, but dwelling 
solely on a chance name that had dropped from the narrator. 

" Tou called the place ' Barrington's Pord,' " said he at last. " Who 
is Barrington?" 

" As good a gentleman by blood and descent as any in this room, 
but now reduced to keep a little wayside inn — the 'Fisherman's Home,' 
it is called. All come of a spendthrift son, who went out to India, 
and ran through every acre of the property before he died." 

" What a strange vicissitude ! And is the old man much broken 
by it ?" 

" Some would say he was ; my own opinion is, that he bears up won- 
derfully. Of course, to me, he never makes any mention of the past ; 
but while my father lived, he would frequently talk to him over by- 
gones, and liked nothing better than to speak of his son. Mad George 
as they called him, and tell all his wildest exploits and most hair- 
brained achievements. But you have served yourself in India. Have 
you never heard of George Barrington ?" 

Stapylton shook his head, and dryly added that India was very 
large, and that even in one Presidency a man might never hear what 
went on in another. 

" Well, this fellow made noise enough to be heard even over here. 
He married a native woman, and he either shook off his English alle- 
giance, or was suspected of doing so. At all events, he got himself 
into troubles that finished him. It's a long, complicated story, that I 
have never heard correctly. The upshot was, however, old Barrington 
was sold out stick and stone, and if it wasn't for the ale-house he 
might starve." 

" And his former friends and associates, do they rally round him 
and cheer him r" 

" Not a great deal. Perhaps, however, that's as much his fault as 
theirs. He is very proud, and very quick to resent auything like 
consideration for his changed condition. Sir Charles would have him 



BABETNGTON. 119 

up here — lie has tried it scores of times, but all in vain ; and now he 
is left to two or three of his neighbours, the Doctor and an old half- 
pay Major, who lives on the river, and I believe really he never sees 
any one else. Old M'Cormick knew George Barringtou well ; not 
that they were friends — two men less alike never lived; but that's 
enough to make poor Peter fond of talking to him, and telling all 
about some lawsuits George left him for a legacy." 

" Tliis Major that you speak of, does he visit here ? I don't re- 
member to have seen him." 

" M'Cormick 1" said the other, laughing. " No, he's a miserly old 
fellow that hasn't a coat fit to go out in, and he's no loss to any one. 
It's as much as old Peter Barringtou can do to bear his shabby ways 
and his cranky temper, but he puts up with everything because he 
knew his son George. That's quite enough for old Peter; and if you 
were to go over to the cottage, and say, ' I met your son up in 
Bombay or IMadras ; we were quartered together at Eam-something- 
or-other,' lie'd tell you the place was your own, to stop at as long as 
you liked, and your home for life." 

" Indeed !" said Stapylton, affecting to feel interested, while lie 
followed out the course of his own thoughts. 

" Not that the Major could do even that much !" continued Bushe, 
who now believed that he had found an eager listener. " There was 
only one thing in this world he'd lilce to talk about — "Walcheren. 
Go how or when you liked, or where or for what — no matter, it was 
"Walcheren you'd get, and nothing else." 

" Somewhat tiresome this, I take it !" 

" Tiresome is no name for it ! And I don't know a stronger proof 
of old Peter's love for his son's memory, than that, for the sake of 
hearing about him, he can sit and listen to the ' expedition.' " 

There was a half-unconscious mimicry in the way he gave the last 
word that showed how the Major's accents had eaten their way into 
his sensibilities. 

" Tour portrait of this Major is not tempting," said Stapylton 
smiling. 

" Why W'Ould it? He's eighteen or twenty years in the neigh 
bourhood, and I never heard that he said a kind word or did a 
generous act by any one. But I get cross if I talk of him. Where 
are you going this morning ? Will you come up to the Long Callows 
and look at the yearlings ? The Admiral is very proud of his young 
stock, and tiiinks he has some of the best bone and blood in Ireland 
there at this moment." 

" Thanks, no ; I have some notiqn of a long walk this morning. I 



z20 BARKINOTOX. 

take shame to myself for having seen so little of tlie country here 
since I came, that I mean to repair my iault, and go ofl' on a sort of 
voyage of discovery." 

" Follow the river from Brown's Barn down to Inistioge, and if you 
ever saw anything prettier I'm a Scotchman." And, with this ap- 
palling alternative, Mr. Bushe walked away, and left the other to 
his own guidance. 

Perhaps Stapylton is not the companion my reader would care to 
stroll with, even along the grassy path beside that laughing river, 
Avith spray-like larches bending overhead, and tender water-lilies 
streaming, like pennants, in the fast-running current. It may be that 
he or she would prefer some one more impressionable to the woodland 
beauty of the spot, and more disposed to enjoy the tranquil loveliness 
around him ; for it is true the swarthy soldier strode on, little heed- 
ing the picturesque effects which made every succeeding reach of the 
river a subject for a painter. He was bent on finding out where 
M'Cormick lived, and on making the acquaintance of that bland 
individual, 

" That's the IMnjor's, and there's himself," said a countryman, as he 
pointed to a very sliabbily-dressed old man hoeing his cabbages in a 
dilapidated bit of garden-ground, but who was so absorbed in his 
occupation as not to notice the approach of a stranger. 

" Am I taking too great a liberty," said Stapylton, as he raised 
his hat, " if I ask leave to follow the river path through this lovely 
spot." 

" Eh — what ? — how did you come ? Tou didn't pass round by the 
young wheat, eh ?" asked M'Cormick, in his most querulous voice. 

" I came along by the margin of the river." 

" That's just it !" broke in the other. " There's no keeping them 
out that way. But I'll have a dog, as sure as my name is Dan. I'll 
have a bull-terrier that'll tackle the first of you that's trespassing 
there." 

" I fancy I'm addi'essing Major M'Cormick," said Stapylton, never 
noticing this rude speech, " and if so, I will ask him to accord me 
the privilege of a brother-soldier, and let me make myself known to 
him — Captain Stapylton, of the Prince's Hussars." 

" By the wars !" muttered old Dan ; the exclamation being a 
favourite one with him to express astonishment at any startling 
event. Then, recovering himself, he added, '' I think I heard there 
were three or four of ye stopping up there at Cobham ; but I never 
go out myself anywhere. I live very retired down here." 

" I'm not surprised at that. AVhen an old soldier can nestle 



BAUniNGTON'. 121 

down in a lovely nook like this, lie lias very liitle to regret of what 
the world is busy about outside it." 

"And tliey are all ruining themselves besides," said M'Corinick, 
with one of his malicious grins. " There's not a man in this county 
isn't mortgaged over head and ears. I can count them all on my 
fingers for you, and tell what they have to live on." 

" Tou amaze me," said Stapylton, with a show of interest. 

" And the women are as bad as the men : nothing fine enough for 
them to wear ; no jewels rich enongli to put on ! Did you ever hear 
them mention me.'"^ asked he, suddenly, as thougli the thought 
flashed upon him that he had himself been exposed to comment of a 
very different kind. 

" They told me of an old retired ofiicer, who owned a most pic- 
turesque cottage, and said, if I remember aright, that the view from 
one of the windows was accounted one of the most perfect bits of 
river landscape in the kingdom." 

" Just the same as where you're standing — no difference in life," 
said M'Cormick, who was not to be seduced by the flattery into any 
demonstration of hospitality. 

" I cannot imagine anything finer," said Stapylton, as he threw 
himself at the foot of a tree, and seemed really to revel in enjoyment 
of the scene. " One might, perhaps, if disposed to be critical, ask 
for a little opening in that copse yonder. I suspect we should get 
a peep at that bold cliff", whose summit peers above the tree-tops." 

" You'd see the quarry, to be sure," croaked out the Major, " if 
that's what you mean." 

"May I offer you a cigar?" said Stapylton, whose self-possession 
was ])ushed somewhat hard by the other. " An old campaigner is 
sure to be a smoker." 

" I am not. I never had a pipe in my mouth since Walcheren." 

" Since AValcheren ! Tou don't say that you are an old Wal- 
cheren man ?" 

" I am, indeed. I was in the second battalion of the 103rd — the 
Duke's Fusiliers, if ever you heard of them." 

"Heard of them! The whole world has heard of them; but 1 
didn't know there was a man of that splendid corps surviving. Why, 

they lost — let me see — they lost every officer but " Here a 

vigorous effort to keep his cigar alight interposed, and kept him oc- 
cupied for a few seconds. " How many did you bring out of action 
— four was it, or five ? I'm certain you hadn't six !" 

" We were the same as the Buffs, man for man," said M'Cormick. 

" The poor Buffs ! — very gallant fellows, too !" sighed Stapylton. 



122 BAEEINGTOK". 

" I have always maintained, and I always will maintain, tliat the 
"Walcheren expedition, though not a success, was the proudest 
achievement of the British arms." 

"The shakes always began after sunrise, and in less than ten 
minutes you'd see your nails growing blue." 

" How dreadful !" 

" And if you felt your nose, you wouldn't know it was your nose ; 
you'd think it was a bit of a cold carrot." 

" Why was that ?" 

" Because there was no circulation ; the blood would stop going 
round ; and you'd be that way for four hours — till the sweating took 
you — ijust the same as dead." 

" There, don't go on — I can't stand it — my nerves are all ajar 
already." 

" And then the cramps came on," continued M'Cormick, in an 
ecstasy over a listener whose feelings he could harrow ; " first in the 
calves of tlie legs, and then all along the spine, so that you'd be 
bent like a fish." 

" For Heaven's sake, spare me ! I've seen some rougli work, but 
that description of yours is perfectly horrifying ! And when one 
thinks ifc was the glorious old 105th " 

" jN"o, the 103rd ; the 105th was at Barbadoes," broke in the 
Major, testily. 

" So they Avere, and got their share of yellow fever at that very 
time, too," said Stapylton, hazarding a not very rash conjecture. 

" Maybe they did, and maybe they didn't," was the dry rejoinder. 

It required all Stapylton's nice tact to get the Major once more full 
swing at the. expedition, but he at last accomplished the feat, and with 
such success that M'Cormick suggested an adjournment within doors, 
aAd faintly hinted at a possible something to drink. The wily guest, 
however, declined this. "He liked," he said, "that nice breezy spot 
under those fine old trees, and with that glorious reach of the river 
before them. Could a man but join to these enjoyments," he con- 
tinued, "just a neighbour or two — an old friend or so tliat he really 
liked — one not alone agreeable from bis tastes, but to whom the link 
of early companionship also attached us, with this addition I could 
call this a paradise." 

" Well, I have the village doctor," croaked out iNE'Corniick, " and 
there's Barrington — old Peter — up at the " Pisherman's Home." I 
have them by way of society. 1 might have better, and I might 
have worse." 

" They told me at Cobham that there was no getting you to ' go 



BAERINGTOTT. 123 

out;' tl'.at, like a regular old soldier, you liked your own ehimncj- 
corner, and could not be tempted away from it." 

" They didn't try very hard, anyhow," said he, harsldy. "I'll bo 
nineteen years here if I live till November, and I think I got two in- 
vitations, and one of them to a ' dancing tea,' whatever that is ; so 
that you may observe they didn't push the temptation as far as St. 
Anthony's !" 

Stapylton joined in the laugh with which M'Cormick welcomed liis 
own drollery. 

"Tour doctor," resumed he, "is, I presume, the father of the 
pretty girl who rides so cleverly ?" 

" So they tell me. I never saw her mounted but once, and she 
smashed a melon-frame for me, and not so much as ' I ask your 
pardon !' afterwards." 

"And Barrington," resumed Stapylton, "is the ruined gentleman 
I have heard of, who has turned innkeeper. An extravagant son, I 
believe, finished him ?" 

" His own taste for law cost him just as much," muttered 
M'Cormick. " He had a trunk full of old title-deeds, and bonds, and 
settlements, and he was always poring over them, discovering, by the 
way, flaws in this and omissions in that, and then he'd draw up a case 
for counsel, and get consultations on it, and, before you could turn 
round, there he was, trying to break a will or get out of a covenant, 
with a special jury and the strongest Bar in Ireland. That's what 
ruined him." 

" I gather from what you tell me that he is a bold, determined, and 
perhaps a vindictive man. Am I riglit r" 

"Ton are not; he's an easy-tempered fellow, and careless, like 
every one of his name and race. If you said he hadn't a wise head 
on his shoulders, you'd be nearer the mark. Look what he's going 
to do now !" cried he, warming with his theme : " he's going to give 
up the inn " 

" Give it up ! And why ?" 

" Ay, that's the question would puzzle him to answer ; but it's the 
haughty old sister persuades him that he ought to take this black 
girl — George Barrington's daughter — home to live with him, and 
that a shebeen isn't the place to bring her to, and she a negress ! 
That's more of the family wisdom !" 

" There may be aifection in it." 

" Affection ! Por what — for a black ? Ay, and a black that tliey 
never set eyes on ! If it was old Withering had the aficction for her 
I wouldn't be surprised." 



121 BAKRINGTO.N. 

" What do you mean ? "Who is he ?" 

"The Attorney- General, who lias been fighting tlie East India 
Company for her these sixteen years, and making more money out of 
the case than she'll ever get back again. Did you ever hear of Bar- 
rington and Lot Eammadahn Mohr against the India Company? 
That's the case. Twelve millions of rupees and the interest on them ! 
And I believe in my heart and soul old Peter would be well out of it 
for a thousand pounds." 

" That is, you suspect he must be beaten in the end ?" 

" I mean, that I'm sure of it ! We have a saying in Ireland, ' It's 
not fair for one man to fall upon twenty,' and it's just the same thing 
to go to law with a great rich Company. You're sure to have the 
worst of it." 

" Did it never occur to them to make some sort of a compromise ?" 

" Not a bit of it. Old Peter always thinks he has the game in his 
hand, and nothing would make him throw np the cards. No ; I believe 
if you olfered to pay the stakes, he'd say, ' Flay the game out, and let 
the winner take the money !' " 

" His lawyer may possibly have something to say to this spirit." 

" Of course he has ; they are always bolstering each other up. It 
is, ' Barrington, my boy, you'll turn tlie corner yet. Tou'Il drive up 
that old avenue to the house you Avere born in, Barrington of Bar- 
rington Plall;' or, ' Withering, I never heard you greater than on that 
point before the twelve Judges ; or, ' Tour last speech at Bar was finer 
than Curran.' They'd pass the evening that way, and call me a 
cantankerous old hound wlien my back was turned, just because I 
didn't hark in to the cry. Maybe I have the laugh at them, after all." 
And he broke out into one of his most discordant cackles to cor- 
roborate his boast. 

" The sound sense and experience of an old Walcheren man might 
have its weight witli them. I know it would with me.^' 

" Ay," muttered the Major, half aloud, for he was thinking to liim- 
self whether this piece of flattery was a bait for a little whisky-and- 
water. 

"I'd rather have the unbought judgment of a shrewd man of the 
world than a score of opinions based upon the quips and cranks of an 
attorney's instructions." 

" Ay !" responded the other, as he mumbled to himself, " He's 
miglity thirsty." 

*' And, what's more," said Stapyltou, starting to his legs, "I'd 
follow the one as implicitly as I'd reject the other. I'd say, 



BAHRINGTON. 125 

* M'Cormick is an old friend ; we liave known each other since boy- 
hood.' " 

" JSTo we haven't. I never saw Peter Barrington till I came to 
live here." 

"Well, after a close friendship of years witli his son " 

" 'Nor tliat either," broke in the implacable Major. " He was 
always cutting his jokes on me, and I never could abide him, so that 
the close friendship you speak of is a mistake." 

" At all events," said Stapylton, sharply, " it could be no interest 
of yours to see an okl — an old acquaintance lavishing his money on 
lawyers and in the pursuit of the most improbable of all results. Tou 
have no design upon him ! You don't want to marry Ins sister !" 

" No, by Gemini !" — a favourite expletive of the jMajor's in urgent 
moments. 

" Nor the Meer's daughter either, I suppose ?" 

" The black ! I think not ! Not if she won the lawsuit, and was 
as rich as she never will be." 

" I agree with you there. Major, thougli I know nothing of the 
case or its merits ; but it is enough to hear that a beggared squire is 
on one side, and Leadenhall-street on the other, to ])redict the 
upshot, and, for my own part, I wonder they go on with it." 

" I'll tell you how it is," said M'Cormick, closing one eye, so as to 
impart a look of intense cunning to his face. "It's the same witli 
law as at a fox-lmnt : when you're tired out beating a cover, and ready 
to go off home, one dog — very often the worst in the whole pack — 
will yelp out. Tou know well enough he's a bad hound, and never 
found in his life. What does that signify ? When you're wishing a 
thing, whatever flatters your hopes is all right — isn't that true ? — and 
away you dash after the yelper as if he was a good hound." 

" Tou have put the matter most convincingly before me." 

" How thirsty he is now !" thought the Major ; and grinned mali- 
ciously at his reflection. 

"And the upshot of all," said Stapylton, like one summing up a 
case — " the upshot of all is, that this old man is not satisfied with his 
ruin if it be not complete : he must see the last timbers of the wreck 
carried away ere he leaves the scene of his disaster. Strange, sad 
infatuation 1" 

" Ay," muttered the Major, who really had few sympathies with 
merely moral abstractions. 

" Not what I should have done in a like case ; nor you either, 
Major, eh ?" 



1-G BAEIIINGTON". 

" Very likely not." 

" But so it is. There are men who cauuot be practical, do what 
tliey will. This is above them." 

A sort of gruut gave assent to this proposition, and Stapylton, who 
began to feel it was a drawn game, arose to take his leave. 

'• I owe you a very delightful morning, Major !" said he. " I wish 
I could think it was not to be the last time I was to have this plea- 
sure. Do you ever come up to Kilkenny ? Does it ever occur to 
you to refresh your old mess recollections ?" 

Had M'Cormick been asked whether he did not occasionally drop 
in at Holland House, and brusli up his faculties by intercourse with 
the bright spirits who resorted there, he could scarcely have been 
more astounded. That he, old Dan M'Cormick, should figure at a 
mess-table — he, whose wardrobe, a mere skeleton battalion thirty 
years ago, had never since been recruited, he should mingle with the 
gay and splendid young fellows of a " crack" regiment ! 

" I'd just as soon think of — of " he hesitated how to measure 

an unlikelihood — " of marrying a young wife, and taking her oif to 
Paris !" 

" And I don't see any absurdity in the project. There is certainly 
a great deal of brilliancy about it !" 

"And something bitter, too!" croaked out M'Cormick, with a 
fearful grin. 

" "Well, if you'll not come to see me, the chances are I'll come 
over and make you another visit before I leave the neiglibourhood." 
He waited a second or two, not more, for some recognition of this 
offer, but none came, and he continued .- " I'll get you to stroll down 
■with me, and sfcow me this ' Fisherman's Home' and its strange pro- 
prietor." 

"Oh, I'll do tliat P'' said the Major, who had no objection to a 
plan which by no possibility could involve himself in any cost. 

"As it is an inn, perhaps they'd let us have a bit of dinner. What 
would you say to being my guest there to-morrow ? Would that suit 
you?" 

" It would suit me well enough !" was the strongly marked reply. 

" Well, we'll do it this wise. You'll send one of your people over 
to order dinner for two at — shall we say five o'clock ? — yes, five — to- 
morrow. That will give us a longer evening, and I'll call here for you 
about four. Is that agreed ?" 

" Yes, that might do," was M'Cormick's half- reluctant assent, for 
in reality there were details in the matter that he scarcely fancied. 
First of all, he had never hitherto crossed that threshold except as an 



BAEEINGTOK. 12? 

invited guest, and he had his misgivings about the prudence of ap- 
pearing in any other character ; and, secondly, there -nas a responsi- 
bility in ordering the dinner which ho liked just as little, and, as he 
muttered to himself, " Maybe I'll have to order the bill, too !" 

Some unlucky experiences of casualties of this sort had, perhaps, 
shadowed his early life, for so it was, that long after Stapylton had 
taken his leave and gone off, the Major stood there ruminating over 
this unpleasant contingency, and ingeniously imagining all the pleas 
he could put in, should his apprehensions prove correct, against his 
own indebtedness. 

"Tell Miss Dinah," said he to his messenger — "tell her 'tis an 
officer by the name of Captain Staples, or something like that, that's 
up at Cobham, that wants a dinner for two to-morrow at fiie o'clock; 
and mind that you don't say who the other is, for it's nothing to her. 
And if she asks you what sort of a dinner, say the best in the house, 
for the Captain — mind you say the Captain — is to pay for it, and the 
other man only dines with him. There now, you have your orders, 
and take care that you follow them !" 

There was a shrewd twinkle in the messenger's eye as he listened, 
which, if not exactly complimentary, guaranteed how thoroughly he 
comprehended the instructions that were given to him ; and the Major 
saw him set forth on his mission, well assured that he could trust his 
envoy. 

In that nothing-for-nothing world Major M'Cormick had so long 
.[ved in, and to whose practice and ways he had adapted all his 
thoughts, there was something puzzling in the fact of a dashine cao- 
tai'n of Hussars, of " the Prince's Own," seeking him out, to form his 
acquaintance and invite him to dinner. Now, tliough the selfishness 
of an unimaginative man is the most complete of all, it yet exposes 
him to fewer delusions than the same quality when found allied with 
a hopeful or fanciful temperament. M'Cormick had no " distractions" 
from such sources. He thought very ill of the world at large ; he 
expected extremely little from its generosity, and he resolved to be 
'' quits" with it. To his often-put question, " AVhat brought him here ? 
— what did he come for ?" he could find no satisfactory reply. He 
Bcouted the notion of " love of scenery, solitude, and so forth," and as 
fully he ridiculed to himself the idea of a stranger caring to hear the 
gossip and small-talk of a mere country neighbourhood. " I have 
it I" cried he at last, as a bright thought darted through his brain — 
" I have it at last ! He wants to pump me about the ' expedition.' 
It's for that he's come. He affected surprise, to be sure, when I 
said I was a "Walcheren man, and pretended to be amazed besides ; 



128 BAEEINGTON. 

but that was all make-'believe. He knew well enough wlio and what 
I was, before he came. And he was so cunning, leading tlie conver- 
sation away in another direction, getting me to talk of old Peter and 
his son George. AVasn't it deep? — wasn't it sly ? "Well, maybe we 
are not so innocent as we look, ourselves ; maybe we have a trick in 
our sleeves too ! ' With a good dinner and a bottle of port wine,' 
says be, ' I'll have the whole story, and be able to write it with the 
signature " One who was there." ' But you're mistaken this time, 
Captain ; the sorrow bit of "Walcheren you'll hear out of my mouth 
to-morrow, be as pleasant and congenial as you like. I'll give you 
the Barringtons, father and son — ay, and old Dinah too, if you fancy 
her — but not a syhable about the expedition. It's the Scheldt you 
want, but you'll have to ' take it out ' in the Ganges." And his 
uncouth joke so tickled him, that he laughed till his eyes ran over ; 
and in the thought that he was going to obtain a dinner undev false 
pretences, he felt sometliing as nearly like happiness as he had tasted 
for many a long day before. 



BAEEINGTOK. 



CHAPTEE XVI. 



COMING HOME. 



Miss Bakrinotox waited with impatience for Conycrs's appear- 
accc at the breakfast-table ; she had received such a pleasant note 
from her brother, and she was so eager to read it. That notion of 
imparting some conception of a dear friend by reading his own words 
to a stranger is a very natural one. It serves so readily to corrobo- 
rate all we have already said, to fill up that picture of which wo have 
but given the mere outline, not to speak of the inexplicable chanu 
tliere is in being able to say, " Here is the man without reserve or 
disguise — here he is in all the freshness and warmth of genuine ieel- 
ing ; no tricks of style, no turning of phrases to mar tlie honest ex- 
pression of his nature. You see him as we see him." 

" My brother is coming home, Mr. Conyers ; he will be here to-day. 
Here is his note," said Miss Dinah, as she shook hands vv-ith her 
guest. " I must read it for you : 

" ' At last, my dear Dinah — at last I am free, and, with all my love 
of law and laywers, right glad to turn my steps homeward. Not but 
I have had a most brilliant week of it; dined with my old school- 
fellow Longmore, now Chief Baron, and was the honoured guest of 
the " Home Circuit," not to speak of one glorious evening with a 
club called the " Unbriefed," the pleasantest dogs that ever made good 
speeches for nothing ! — an amount of dissipation upon which I can 
well retire and live for the next twelve months. How strange it 
seems to me to be once more in the "world," and listening to scores 
of things in which I have no personal interest ; how small it makes my 
own daily life appear, but how secure and how home-like, Dinah ! Tou 
have often heard me grumbling over the decline of social agreeability, 
and the dearth of those pleasant speeches that could set the table in 
a roar. You shall never hear the same complaint irom me again. 
Tiiese fellows are just as good as tlieir fathers. If I missed anything, 
it was that glitter of sc-holarship, that classical turn which in the olden 
day elevated table-talk, and made it racy with the smart aphorisms 
and happy conceits of those who, even over their wine, were poets and 
orators. But perhaps I am not quite fair even in this. At all events, 
I aia not going to disparage those who have brought back to my old 
age some of the pleasant memories of my youtli, and satisfied nvj 

K 



180 BAREINQTON. 

that even yet I have a heart for those social joys I once loved so 
dearly ! 

" 'And we have won our suit, Dinah — at least, a juror was with- 
drawn by consent — and Brazier agrees to an arbitration as to the 
Moyalty lands, the whole of Clancbrach and Barrymaquilty property 
being released from the sequestration.' 

" This is all personal matter, and technical besides," said Miss 
Barrington, " so I skip it. 

" ' AV^ithering was finer than ever I heard him in the speech lu 
«»vidence. 'We had been taunted with our defensive attitude so 
suddenly converted into an attack, and he compared our position to 
'Wellington's at Torres A^edras. The Chief Justice said Curran, at 
his best, never excelled it, and they have called mc nothing but Lord 
Wellington ever since. And now, Dinah, to answer the question 
your impatience has been putting these ten minutes : " What of the 
money part of all this triumph ?" I fear much, my dear sister, we 
are to take little by our motion. The costs of the campaign cut up 
all but the glory ! Ilogan's bill extends to thirty-eight folio pages, 
and there's a codicil to it of eleven more, headed " Confidential be- 
tween Client and Attorney," and though I have not in a rapid survey 
seen anything above five pounds, the gross total is two thousand 
seven hundred and forty-three pounds three and fourpence. I must 
and will say, however, it was a great suit, and admirably prepared. 
There was not an instruction AVithering did not find substantiated, 
and Hogan is equally delighted with Jiiin. AVitli all my taste for 
field sports and manly games, Dinah, I am firmly convinced that a 
good trial at bar is a I'ar finer spectacle than the grandest tournament 
that ever was tilted. There was a skirmish yesterday that I'd rather 
have witnessed than I'd have seen Brian de Bois himself at Ashby- 
de-la-Zouch. And, considering that my own share for this passage at 
arms will come to a trifle above two thousand pounds, the confession 
may be taken as an honest one. 

" 'And who is your young guest whom I shall be so delighted to 
see ? This gives no clue to him, Dinah, for you know well how I 
would welcome any one who has impressed you so favourably. 
Entreat of him to prolong his stay for a week at least, and if I can 
persuade Withering to come down with me, we'll try and make his 
sojourn more agreeable. Look out for me — at least, about five o'clock 
— and have the green-room ready for A\^., and let Darby be at Holt's 
Style to take the trunks, for AVithering likes that walk through the 
woods, and says that h^ leaves his wig and gown on the hoUy-bushes 
therfe till he goes back.' " 



BAEEINOTON. 131 

The next paragrapli slie skimmed over to herself. It was one about 
an advance that Honaa had let him have of two Imndred pounds. 
" Quite ample," "W. says, " for our excursion to fetch over Josephine." 
Some details' as to the route followed, and some wise hints about 
travelling on the Continent, and a hearty concurrence on the old 
lawyer's part with the whole scheme. 

"Tliese are little home details," said she, hurriedly, "but you have 
heard enough to guess what ray brother is like. Here is the conclusion : 

" ' I hope your young friend is a fisherman, which will give me 
more chance of his company than walking up the partridges, for which 
1 am getting too old. Let him, however, understand that we mean 
him to enjoy himself in his own way, to have the most perfect liberty, 
and that the only despotism we insist upon is, not to be late for 
dinner. 

" ' Your loving brother, 

«' ' Peter Barrinqton. 

" ' There is no fatted calf to feast our return, Dinah, but Withering 
has an old weakness for a roast sucking-pig. Don't you think we 
could satisfy it ?' " 

Conyers readily caught the contagion of the joy Miss Earrington 
felt at the thought of her brother's return. Short as the distance 
was that separated him from home, his absences were so rare, it 
seemed as though he had gone miles and miles away, for few people 
ever lived more dependent on each other with interests more concen- 
trated, and all of whose hopes and fears took exactly the same direc- 
tion, than this brother and sister, and this, too, with some strong dif- 
ferences on the score of temperament of which the reader already has 
had an inkling. 

What a pleasant bustle that is of a household that prepares for 
the return of a well-loved master ! "What feeling pervades twenty 
little offices of every day routine ! And how dignified by affection 
are the smallest cares and the very humblest attentions. " Ht likes 
this !" " He is so fond of that !" are heard at every moment. It is 
then that one marks how the observant eye of love has followed the 
most ordinary tricks of habit, and treasured them as things to be 
remembered. It is not the key of the street door in your pocket, nor 
the lease of the premises in your drawer, that make a home. Let 
us be grateful when we remember that, in this attribute, the humblest 
shealing on the hill-side is not inferior to the palace of the king ! 

Conyers, I have said, partook heartily of Miss Barrington's delight, 
and gave a willing help to the preparations that went forward. All 

k2 



132 BAEEINGTON. 

were soon busy ■within doors and without. Some were raking tlio 
gravel before the door ; while others were disposing the flower-pots 
in little pyramids through the grass plats; and then tliere were trees 
to be nailed up, and windows cleaned, and furnitvire changed, in 
various ways. What superhuman efforts did not Conyers make to 
get an old jet d'eau to play, which had not spouted for nigh twenty 
years ; and how reluctantly he resigned himself to failure and assisted 
Betty to shake a carpet ! 

And when all was completed, and the soft and balmy air sent the 
odour of the rose and the jessamine through the open windows, within 
which every appearance of ease and comfort prevailed, Miss Barringtou 
sat down at the piano and began to refi'esh her memory of some Irish 
airs, old favourites of Withering's, which he was sure to ask for. There 
was that in the plaintive wildness which strongly interested Conyers; 
while, at the same time, he was astonished at the skill of one at 
whose touch, once on a time, tears had trembled in the eyes of those 
who listened, and whose fingers had not yet forgot their cunning. 

" AVho is that standing without tliere ?" said Miss "Harrington, 
suddenly, as she saw a very poor-looking countryman who had drawn 
close to the window to listen. " Who are you ? and what do you 
want here?" asked she, approaching him. 

" I'm Terry, ma'am — Terry Delany, the Major's man," said he, 
taking off his hat. 

" Never heard of you ; and what's your business ?" 

" 'Tis how I was sent ! your honour's reverence," began he, falter- 
ing at every word, and evidently terrified by her imperious style of 
address. " 'Tis how I came here with the master's compliments — 
not indeed his own, but the other man's — to say, that if it was 
plazing to you, or, indeed, anyhow at all, they'd be here at five 
o'clock to dinner ; and though it was yesterday I got it, I stopped 
with my sister's husband up at Toynes Grap, and misremembered it ail 
till this morning, and I liope your honour's reverence won't tell it on 
me, but have the best in the house all the same, for he's rich enough, 
and can well afford it." 

" What can the creature mean?" cried Miss Barrington. " Who 
sent you here r" 

"Tiie Major himself; but not for him, but for the other that's up 
ut Cobham." 

" And wlio is this other ? What is he called ?" 

" 'Twas something like Hooks, or Nails ; but I can't remember," 
said he, scratching his head — in sign of utter and complete bewilder- 
ment. 



BARKINGTOX. 133 

" Did any one ever hear the like! Is tlie fellow an idiot?" ex- 
claimed she, angrily. 

" No, my lady ; but many a one might be that lived with ould 
M'Cormick !" burst out the man in a rush of unguardedaess. 

" Try and collect yourself, my good fellow," said Mis^s Barrington, 
smiling, in spite of herself at his confession, "and say, if you can, 
what brought you here ?" 

"It's just, then, what I said before," said he, gaining a little more 
courage. " It's dinner for two ye're to have ; and it's to be ready at five 
o'clock ; but ye're not to look to ould Dan for the money, for he as 
good as said he would never pay sixpence of it, but 'tis all to come 
out of the other chap's pocket, and well aftordin' it. There it is now, 
and I defy the Pope o' Eome to say that I didn't give the message 
right!" 

"Mr. Conyers," began Miss Barrington, in a voice shaking with 
agitation, " it is nigh twenty years since a series of misfortunes 

brought us so low in the world, that " She stopped, partlv 

overcome by indignation, partly by shame ; and then, suddenly turn- 
ing towards the man, she continued, in a firm and resolute tone, 
" Go back to your master and sa}^, 'Miss Barrington hopes he has 
sent a fool on his errand, otherwise his message is so insolent it will 
be far safer he should never present himself liere again!' Do you 
hear me ? Do you understand me ?" 

" If you mane, you'd make them throw him in the river, the divil 
a straw I'd care, and I wouldn't wet my feet to pick him out of it!" 

" Take the message as I have given it you, and do not dare to mix 
up anything of your own with it." 

"Faixiwon't. It's trouble enough I have without that! I'll 
tell him there's no dinner for him here to-day, and that, if he's wise, 
be won't come over to look for it." 

"There, go — be off"," cried Conyers, impatiently, for he saw that 
Miss Barriugton's temper was being too sorely tried. 

She conquered, however, the indignation that at one moment had 
threatened to master her, and in a voice of tolerable calm said, 

" May I ask you to see if Darby, or any other of the workmen, 
are in the garden ? It is high time to take down these insignia 
of our traffic, and tell our friends how we would be regarded in 
I'uture." 

" AYill you let me do it ? I ask as a favour that I may be permitted 
to do it," cried Conyers, eagerly ; and, without waiting for her 
answer hurried away to fetch a ladder. He was soon back again and 
at work. 



134 bahrikoton. 

" Take care how you remove tliat board, Mr. Conyers," said she 
** If there be the tiniest sprig of jessamine broken my brotlier will 
miss it. He has been watching anxiously for the time when the 
■white bells would shut out every letter of his name, and I'd like 
him not to notice the change immediately. There, you are doing it 
very handil}' indeed. There is another holdfast at this corner. Ah, 
be careful ; that is a branch of the passion-tree, and though it looks 
dead, you will see it covered with flowers in spring. Xothing could 
be better. Now for the last emblem of our craft — can you reach it ?" 

" Oil easily," said Conyers, as he raised his eyes to where the little 
tin fish hung glittering above him. The ladder, however, was too 
short, and, standing on one of the highest rungs, still he could not 
reach the little iron stanchion. " I must have it, tliough," cried 
be ; "I mean to claim that as my prize. It will be the only fish I 
ever took with my own hands." He now cautiously crept up another 
step of the ladder, supporting himself by the frail creepers which 
covered the walls. '' Help me now with a crooked stick, and I shall 
catcli it." 

"I'll fetch you one," said she, disappearing within the porch. 

Still wistfully looking at the object of his pursuit, Conyers never 
turned his eyes downwards as the sound of steps apprised him some 
one was near, and, concluding it to be Miss Barriugton, he said, " I'm 
half afraid that I have torn some of this jessamine-tree from the 
wall ; but see, here's the prize !" A slight air of wind had Avafted 
it towards him, and lie snatched the fish from its slender chain and 
lield it up in triumph. 

"A poacher caught in the fact, Barriugton!" said a deep voice 
from below ; and Conyers, looking down, saw two men both advanced 
in life, very gravely watching his proceedings. 

Not a little ashamed of a situation to which he never expected an 
audience, he hastily descended the ladder, but before he reached the 
ground Miss ]3arrington was in her brother's arms, and welcoming 
him home with all the warmtli of true aftcction. This over, she next 
shook hands cordially with his companion, whom she called Mr. 
AV^ithering. 

" And now, Peter," said slie, "to present one I have been longing 
to make known to you. You, who never forget a well-known face, 
will recognise him." 

" My eyes are not what they used to be," said Barriugton, holding 
out his hand to Conyers. " but they arc good enough to see tlie young 
gentleman I left here when I went away." 

" Yes, Peter," said she, hastily ; " but does the sight of him bring 
back to you no memory of poor George?" 



B ae:i] n g rox. 135 

" George was tlai'k as a Spaniard, and this gentleman — Lut pray, 
Sir, forgive this rudeness of our's, and let us make ourselves better 
acquainted within doors. Yon mean to stay some time here, 1 
hope." 

"lonlywisli I could; but I have already overstayed ray leave, 
and waited here only to shake your hand before I left." 

"Peter, Peter," said Miss Dinah, impatiently, "must I tiien tell 
whom you are speaking to ?" 

Barrington seemed puzzled. He looked from the stranger to his 
sister, and back again. 

She drew near and whispered in his ear : " The son of poor George's 
dearest friend on earth — the son of Ormsby Conyers." 

" Of whom ?" said Barrington, in a startled and half-angry voice. 

" Of Ormsby Conyers." 

Barrington trembled from head to foot; his face, for au instant 
crimson, became suddenly of an ashy paleness, and his voice shook as 
he said, 

" I was not — I am not — prepared for this honour. I mean, J 

could not have expected that Mr. Conyers Avould have desired 

Say this — do this for me. Withering, for I am not equal to it," said 
tlie old man, as, with his hands pressed over his face, he hurried 
within tlie house, followed by his sister. 

" I cannot make a guess at the explanation my friend has left 
me to make," cried Withering, courteously ; " but it is plain to see 
that your name has revived some sorrow connected with the great 
calamity of his life. Ton have heard of his son. Colonel Bar- 
rington ?" 

" Yes, and it was because my father had been his dearest friend 
that Miss Barrington insisted on my remaining liere. She told me, 
over and over again, of the joy her brother would feel on meeting 
me " 

" Where are you going — what's the matter ?" asked AVithering, 
as a man hurriedly passed out of the house and made for the river, 

" The master is taken bad. Sir, and I'm going to Inistioge for the 
doctor." 

" Let me go with you," said Conyers ; and, only returning by a 
nod the good-by of Withering, he moved past and stepped into the 
boat. 

" What an afternoon to such a morning !" muttered he to himself, 
as the tears started from his eyes and stole heavily along his 
cheeks. 



13G BAEEINGTOir. 



CHAPTER XVII. 



Iv Conyers had been in the frame of mind to notice it, tlie con- 
trast between the neat propriety of tlie " Fislierman's Home," and 
the disorder and slovenliness of the little inn at Inistioge, could not 
have failed to impress itself upon him. The "Spotted Duck" was 
certainl}^ in all its details, the very reverse of that quiet and pic- 
turesque cottage he had just quitted. But what did he care at that 
moment for the roof that sheltered him, or the table that was spread 
before him ? For days back he had been indulging in thoughts of 
that welcome which Miss Barrington had promised him. He fancied 
how, on the mere mention of his father's name, the old man's aifec- 
tion would liave poured forth in a flood of kindest words ; he had even 
prepared himself for a scene of such emotion as a father might have 
felt on seeing one who brought bade to mind his own son's earlier 
years ; and instead of nil this, he found himself shunned, avoided, 
repulsed. If there was a thing on earth in which his pride was 
greatest, it was his name, and. yet it was on the utterance of that 
word, " Conyers," old Barrington turned away and left him. 

Over and over again had he found the spell of his father's name 
and title opening to him society, securing liTm attentions, and obtain- 
ing for him that recognition and acceptance which go so far to make 
life pleasurable, and now that word, which would have had its 
magic at a palace, fell powerless and cold at the porch of a humble 
cottage. 

To say that it was part of his creed to believe his father could do 
no wrong, is weak. It was his whole belief — his entire and com- 
plete conviction. To his mind his father embodied all that was noble, 
high-hearted, and chivalrous. It was not alone the testimony of those 
wlio served under him could be ap[)eal(_'d to. All India, the Govern- 
ment at home, his own sovereign, knew it. From his earliest infancy 
he had listened to this theme, and to doubt it seemed like to dispute 
the fact of his existence. How was it, then, that this old man refused 
to accept what the whole world had stamped with its value? Was it 
that he impugned the services which had made his father's name 
famous throughout the entire I<]ast ? 

He endeavoured to recal the exact words Barrington had used 



BAIUUNCiTON. 137 

towards liim, but he could not succeed. There was something, he 
thouglit, about intruding, unwarrantably intruding ; or it might be a 
nsistaken impression of the welcome that awaited him. Which was 
it ? or was it eitlier of them ? At all events, he saw himself rejected 
and repulsed, and the indignity was too great to bo borne. 

While he thus chafed and fretted, hours went by, and Mr. M'Cabe, 
the landlord, had made more than one excursion into the room, under 
pretence of looking after tlie fire, or seeing that the windows were 
duly closed, but in reality very impatient to learn his guest's inten- 
tions regarding dinner. 

"Was it your honour said that you'd rather have the chickens 
roast than biled r" said he at last, in a very submissive tone. 

" I said nothing of the kind." 

"Ah, it was No. 5 then, and I mistook; I crave your honour's 
pardon." Hoping that tlie chord he had thus touched might vibrate, 
he stooped down to arrange the turf, and give time for the response, 
but none came. Mr. M'Cabe gave a faint sigh, but returned to the 
charge. " When there's the laste taste of south in the wind, there's 
no making this chimney draw." 

Not a word of notice acknowledged this remark. 

" But it will do finely yet ; it's just the outside of the turf is a little 
wet, and no wonder; seven weeks of rain — glory be to Him that 
sent it — has nearly desthroyed us." 

Still Conyers vouchsafed no reply. 

" And when it begins to rain here, it never laves off. It isn't like 
in your honour's country. Tour honour is English ?" 

A grunt — it might be assent, it sounded like malediction. 

" 'Tis azy seen. When your lionour came out of tiie boat, I said, 
Shusy,' says I, ' he's English ; and there's a coat they couldn't make 
in Ireland for a king's ransom.' " 

" AVhat conveyances leave this for Kilkenny ?" asked Conyers, 
sternly. 

" Just none at all, not to mislead you," said M'Cabe, in a voice quite 
^evoid of its late whining intonation. 

" Is there not a chaise or a car to be had ?" 

" Sorrow one. Doctor Dill has a car, to be sure, but not for 
hire." 

" Oh, Doctor Dill lives here. I forgot that. Go and tell liim I 
wish to see him." 

The landlord withdrew in a dogged silence, but returned in about 
ten minutes, to say that the Doctor had been sent for to the " Fisher- 
man's Home," and Mr. Barringtou was so ill it was not likely he would 
be back that ni^ht. 



138 BARRINGTON. 

" So ill, did you say ?" cried Conycrs. " What was the attack — 
what did they call it?" 

" 'Tis some kind of a'plexy, they said. He's a full man, and ad- 
vanced in years, besides." 

" Go and tell young Mr. Dill to come over here." 

" He's just gone olf with the cuppin' instruments. I saw liim 
stcppin' into the boat." 

" Let nie have a messenger : I want a man to take a note up to 
Miss Barrington, and fetch my writing-desk here." In his eager 
anxiety to learn how Mr. Barrington was, Conyers hastily scratched 
off a i'ew lines ; but on reading them over, he tore them up : they 
implied a degree of interest on his part which, considering the late 
treatment extended to him, was scarcely dignified. He tried again : 
the error was as marked on the other side. It was a cold and formal 
inquiry. " And yet," said he, as he tore this in fragments, " one 
thing is quite clear — this illness is owing to me ! But for oni/ pre- 
sence there, that old man had now been hale and hearty ; the impres- 
sions, rightfully or wrongfully, which the sight of me and the an- 
nouncement of 1)11/ name produced are the cause of his malady. I 
cannot deny it." With this revulsion of feeling, he wrote a short 
but kindly-worded note to Miss Barrington, in which, with the very 
faintest allusion to himself, he begged for a few lines to say how her 
brother was. He would have added something about the sorrow he 
experienced in requiting all her kindness by this calamitous return, 
but he felt that if the case should be a serious one, all reference to 
himself would be misplaced and impertinent. 

The messenger despatched, he sat down beside his fire, the only 
light now in the room, which the shade of coming night had darkened. 
He was sad and dispirited, and ill at ease with his own heart. Mr. 
M'Cabe, indeed, appeared with a suggestion about candles, and a 
shadowy hint that if his guest speculated on dining at all, it was full 
time to intimate it ; but Conyers dismissed him with a peremptory 
command not to dare to enter the room again until he was summoned 
to it. So odious to him was the place, the landlord, and all about 
him, that he would have set out on foot luul liis ankle been only 
strong enough to bear him. " What if lie were to write to Stapylton 
to come and fetch him away ? He never liked the man ; he liked 
him less since the remark Miss Barrington had made upon him from 
mere reading of his letter, but what was he to do ?" While he was 
yet doubting what course to take, he heard the voices of some new 
arrivals outside, and, strange enough, one seemed to be Stapylton's. 
A minute or two after, the travellers had entered the room adjoining 



BAURINOTON. 135) 

his own, and from whicli a very frail partition of latli and plaster 
alone separated him. 

"Well, Barney," said a liarsli grating voice, addressing the land- 
lord, "what have you got in the larder? AVe mean to dine with 
you." 

" To dine here. Major !" exclaimed M'Cabe. " Well, Avell, wondhera 
will never cease." And then hurriedly seeking to cover a speech not 
very flattering to the Major's habits of hospitality — " sure, I've a loin 
of pork, and there's two chickens and a trout fresh out of the water, 
and there's a cheese ; it isn't mine, to be sure, but Father Cody's, 
but he'll not miss a slice out of it; and barrin' you dined at the 
' Fisherman's Home,' you'd not get betther." 

" That's where we were to have dined by right," said the Major, 
crankily — "myself and my friend here — but we're disappointed, and 
so we stepped in here, to do the best we can." 

" Well, by all accounts there won't be many dinners up there for 
some time." 

"Why so?" 

" Ould Barrington was took with a fit this afternoon, and they say 
he won't get over it." 

" How was it ? — what brought it on ?" 

"Here's the way I had it. Ould Peter was just come home from 
Kilkenny, and bad brought the Attorney- General with him to stay a 
few days at the cottage, and what was the first thing he seen but a 
man that come all the way from India with a writ out against liim for 
some of mad George Barrington's debts ; and he was so overcome by 
the shock, that he fainted away, and never came rightly to himself 
since." 

" This is simply impossible," said a voice Conyers well knew to be 
Stapylton's. 

" Be that as it may, I had it from the man tliat came for tbe 
Doctor, and, what's more, he was just outside the window, and could 
hear ould Barrington cursin' and swearin' about the man that ruined 
his son, and brought his poor boy to the grave ; but I'll go and look 
after your honour's dinner, for I know more about that." 

" I have a strange half-curiosity to know the correct version of 
this story," said Stapylton, as the host left the room. " The Doctor 
is a friend of yours, I think. AVould he step over here, and let us 
hear the matter accurately ?" 

" He's up at the cottage now, but I'll get him to come in here when 
he returns." 

If Conyers was shocked to hear how even this loose version of what 



140 BAEUINOTON. 

liad occurred served to lieigliten the anxiety liis ownfeara created, lie 
was also angry with himself at having learned the matter as he did. 
It was not in Lis nature to play the eavesdropper, and he had, in 
reality, heard what fell between his neighbours almost ere he was 
aware of it. To apprise them, therefore, of the vicinity of a stranger, 
he coughed and sneezed, poked the fire noisily, and moved the chairs 
about ; but though the disturbance served to prevent liim from 
hearing, it did not tend to impress any greater caution upon them, 
for they talked away as before, and more than once above the din of 
his own tumult he heard the name of Barriugton, and even his own, 
uttered. 

Unable any longer to suffer the irritation of a position so painful, 
lie took his hat, and left the house. It was now night, and so dark 
that he had to stand some minutes on the door-sill ere he could 
accustom his sight to tlie obscurity. By degrees, however, he was 
enabled to guide his steps, and, passing through the little square, he 
gained the bridge ; and here he resolved to walk backwards and for- 
wards till such time as he hoped his neighbours might have concluded 
their convivialities, and turned homeward. 

A thin cold rain was ialling, and the night was cheerless, and with- 
out a star; but his heart was heavy, and tlie dreariness without best 
suited that within him. For more than an hour he continued his 
lonely walk, tormented by all the miseries his active ingenuity could 
muster. To have brought sorrow and mourning beneath tlie roof 
where you have been sheltered with kindness is sad enough, but far 
sadder is it to connect the calamity you have caused with one dearer 
to you than yourself, and whose innocence, while assured of, you 
cannot vindicate. " My father never wronged this man, for the simple 
reason that he has never been unjust to any one. It is a gross in- 
justice to accuse him! ]f Colonel Barrington forfeited my father's 
friendship, who could doubt where the fault lay ? But I will not 
leave the matter questionable. I will write to my father, and ask 
him to send me such a reply as may set the issue at rest for ever; 
and then I will come down here, and, with my iather's letter in my 
hand, say, ' Tiie mention of my name was enough, once on a time, to 
make you turn away from me on the very threshold of your own 

door ' " "When he had got thus far in his intended appeal, his ear 

was suddenly struck by the word " Conyers," uttered by one of two 
men who hail passed him the moment before, and now stood still in 
one of the projections of the bridge to talk. He as hastily recognised 
Doctor Dill as the speaker. He went on thus: "Of course it was 
mere raving, but one must bear in mind that memory very often ia 



BAEEINGTON. 141 

the prompter of these ■wanderirigs ; aiul it was strange how per- 
sistently he lield to the one theme, and continued to call out, ' It was 
not fair, Sir ! It was not manly ! You k]iow it yourself, Couyers ; 
you cannot deny it !' " 

"But you attach no importance to such wanderings, Doctor?" 
asked one, whose deep-toned, voice betrayed to be Stapyltou. 

"1 do; that is to the extent I have mentioned. They are inco- 
herencies, but they are not without some foundation. Tliis Conyera 
may have had his share in that famous accusation against Colonel 
Barriugton— that well-known cliarge I told you of; and if so, it is 
easy to connect the name with these ravings." 

" And the old man will die of this attack," said Stapyltou, half 
musingly. 

" I hope not. He has great vigour of constitution ; and old as he 
is, I think he will rub through it." 

" Toung Conyers left for Kilkenny, then, immediately ?" asked he. 

" No ; he came down here, to the village. He is now at the inn." 

"At the inn, here? I never knew that. I am sorry I was not 
aware of it, Doctor ; but since it is so, I will ask of you not to speak 
of having seen me here. He would naturally take it ill, as his brother 
officer, that I did not make him out, while, as you see, I was totally 
ignorant of his vicinity." 

"I will say nothing on the subject, Captain," said the Doctor. 
"And now one word of advice from you on a personal matter. This, 
young gentleman has offered to be of service to my son " 

Conyers, hitherto spellbound while the interest attached to his 
father, now turned hastily from the spot and walked away, his mind 
not alone charged with a heavy care, but full of an eager anxiety as 
to wherefore Stapylton should have felt so deeply interested in Bar- 
rington's illness, and the causes that led to it — Stapylton, the most 
selfisb of men, and the very last in the world to busy himself in the 
sorrows or misfortunes of a stranger. Again, too, why had he desired 
the Doctor to preserve his presence there as a secret ? Conyers w as 
exactly in the frame of mind to exaggerate a suspicion, or make 
a mere doubt a grave question. "While he thus mused, Stapylton 
and the Doctor passed him on their way towards the village, deep in 
converse, and, to all seeming, in closest confidence. 

" Shall I follow him to the inn, and declare that I overheard a few 
words on the bridge which give me a claim to explanation ? Shall I 
gay, ' Captain Stapylton, you spoke of my father, just now, sufficiently 
aloud to be overheard by me as I passed, and in you.r tone there was 
that which entitles me to question you r' Then if he should say, 



11-2 BARRINGTON. 

' Go on ; what is it you ask for r' Shall I not be sorely puzzled to 
continue ? Perhaps, too, he might remind me that the mode in 
which I obtained m\' information precludes even a reference to it. 
He is one of those fellows not to throw away such an advantage, and 
I must prepare myself for a quarrel. Oli ! if I only had Hunter by 
me ! What would I not give for the brave Colonel's counsel at such 
a moment as this?" 

Of this sort were his thoughts as he strolled up and down for hours, 
wearing away the long "night watches," till a faint greyish tinge 
above the horizon showed that morning was not very distant. The 
whole landscape was wrapped in that cold mysterious tint in which 
tower, and hill-top, and spire are scarce distinguishable from each 
other, while out of the low-lying meadows already arose the blueish 
vapour that proclaims the coming day. The village itself, over- 
shadowed by the mountain behind it, lay a black, unbroken mass. 
Kot a light twinkled from a window, save close to the river's bank, 
where a faint gleam stole forth and flickered on the water. 

"Who has not felt the strange interest that attaches to a solitary 
light seen thus in the tranquil depth of a silent night ? How readily 
do we associate it with some incident of sorrow. The watcher beside 
the sick bed rises to the mind, or the patient sufferer himself trying 
to cheat the dull hours by a book, or perhaps some poor son of toil 
arising to his daily round of labour, and seated at that solitary meal 
which no kind word enlivens, no companionship beguiles. And as I 
write, in what corner of earth are not such scenes passing — such dark 
shadows moving over the battle-field of life ? 

In such a feeling did Conyers watch this liglit as, leaving the high 
road, he took a path that led along the river towards it. As he drew 
nigher he saw that the light came from the open window of a room 
which gave upon a little garden — a mere strip of ground fenced off 
from the path by a low paling. "With a curiosity he could not 
master, be stopped and looked in. At a large table, covered with 
books and papers, and on which a skull also stood, a young man was 
seated, his head leaning on his hand, apparently in deep thought, 
while a girl was slowly pacing tlie little chamber as she talked to him. 

" It does not require," said she, in a firm voice, " any great eftbrt 
of memory to bear in mind that a nerve, an artery, and a vein always 
go in company." 

" Not for you, perhaps — not for you, Polly." 

" Not for any one, I'm sure. Your fine dragoon friend with the 
sprained ankle might be brought to that amount of instruction by one 
telling of it." 




''-(2P'?'Zy 



-^-■oUy a^/iiJ o^^^,f2^i^. 



EAERINGTON'. 143 

" Ob, he's no fool, I promise you, Polly. Don't despise him be- 
cause he has plenty of money and can lead a life of idleness." 

" I neither despise nor esteem him, nor do I mean that he should 
divert our minds from what we are at. Now for the popliteal space. 
Can you describe it ? Do you know where it is, or anything about 
it ?" 

" I do," said he, doggedly, as he pushed his long hair back from his 
eyes and tried to think — " I do, but I must have time. You mustn't 
Lurry me." 

She made no reply, but continued her walk in silence. 

"I know all about it, Polly, but I can't describe it. I can't 
describe anything ; but ask me a question about it." 

"Where is it — where does it lie ?" 

" Isn't it at the lower third of the humerus, where the flexors 
divide ?" 

" You are too bad — too stupid!" cried she, angrily. " I cannot 
believe that anything short of a purpose, a determination to be 
ignorant, could make a person so unteachable. If we have gone over 
this once, we have done so fifty times. It haunts me in my sleep 
from very iteration." 

" I wish it would haunt me a little when I'm awake," said he, 
sulkily. 

" And when may that be, I'd like to know ? Do you fancy, Sir, 
that your present state of intelligence is a very vigilant one ?" 

" I know one thing. I hope there won't be the like of you on the 
Court of Examiners, for I wouldn't bear the half of what you'ye said 
to me from another." 

'■ P.ejection will be harder to bear, Tom. To be sent back as 
ignorant and incapable will be far heavier as a punishment than any 
words of mine. AVhat are you laughing at. Sir ? Is it a matter of 
mirth to you ?" 

" Look at the skull, Polly — look at the skull." And he pointed to 
where he had stuck his short, black pipe, between the grinuing teeth 
of the skeleton. 

She snatched it angrily away, and threw it out of tlie window, 
saying, " You may be ignorant, and not be able to help it. I wdl 
take care you shall not be irreverent. Sir." 

"There's my short clay gone, anybow," said Tom, submissively, 
" and I think I'll go to bed." And he yawned drearily as he spoke. 

" Not till you have done this, if we sit here till breakfast-time," 
said she, resolutely. " There's the plate, and there's the reference. 
Head it till vou know it 1" 



.141 BARKINGTON. 

" "What a ylaA-e- driver you'd iiiakf, Polly," said he, ^vilh a half- 
bitter smile. 

" What a slave I am !" said she, turning away her head. 

" Tiiat's true," cried he, in a voice thick with emotion ; " and when 
I'm thousands of miles away, I'll be longing to hear the bitterest 
words you ever said to me rather than never see you any more." 

"My poor brother!" said she, laying her hand softly on his rough 
head, " I never doubted your heart, and I ought to be better tempered, 
with you, and I will. Come, now, Tom" — and she seated herself at 
the table next him — "see, now, if I cannot make this easy to you." 
And then the two heads were bent togetlier over the table, and the 
soft brown hair of the girl half mingled with the rough wool of the 
graceless numbskull beside her. 

" I will stand by him if it were only for her sake," said Conyers to 
himself. And he stole slowly away and gained the inn. 

So intent upon his purpose was he that he at once set about its 
fulfilment, lie began a long letter to his father, and, touching 
slightly on the accident bj which he made Doctor Dill's acquaint- 
ance, professed to be deeply his debtor for kindness and attention. 
"With this prelude he introduced Tom. Hitherto his pen had glided 
along flippantly enough. In that easy mixture of fact and fancy by 
which he opened his case, no grave difficulty presented itself, but 
Tom was now to be presented, and the task was about as puzzling as 
it would have been to have conducted him bodily into society. 

" I was ungenerous enough to be prejudiced against this poor fellow 
when I first met him," wrote he. " JS^eitherhis figure nor his manners 
are in his favour, and in his very diffidence there is an apparent rude- 
ness and forwardness which are not really in his nature. These, how- 
ever, are not mistakes you, my dear father, will fall into. With your 
own quickness you will see what sterling qualities exist beneath this 
rugged outside, and you will befriend him at first for my sake. Later 
on, I trust he will open his own account in your heart. Bear in mind, 
too, that it was all my scheme — tlie whole plan mine. It was I per- 
suaded him to try his luck in India ; it was through me he made the 
venture, and if the poor fellow fail, all the fault will fall back upon 
?«e," From this he went into little details of Tom's circumstances, 
and the narrow means by which he was surrounded, adding how humble 
lie Avas, and how ready to be satisHed with the most moderate liveli- 
hood. " In that great wide world of the East, what scores of things 
there must be for such a fellow to do ; and even should he not turn 
out to be a Sydenham or a Harvey, he might administer justice, or 
collect revenue, or assist in some other way the process of that system 



BAREINGTON'. Tio 

v/hich we call the Britisli rule in India. In a word, get liim some- 
thing lie may live hy, and be able, in due time, to help those he hns 
left behind here, in aland whose 'Paddy-fields' are to the fidl as 
pauperised as those of Bengal." 

He had intended, having disposed of Tom Dill's case, to have ad- 
dressed some lines to his father about the Barringtous, sufficiently 
vague to be easily answered if the subject were one distasteful or un- 
pleasing to him ; but just as he reached the place to open this, he 
was startled by the arrival of a jaunting-car at the inn-door, whose 
driver stopped to take a drink. It was a chance conveyance, return- 
ing to Kilkenny, and Conyers at once engaged it ; and, leaving an 
order to send on the reply when it arrived from the cottage, he 
wrote a hasty note to Tom Dill and departed. This note was simply 
to say that he had already fulfilled his promise of interesting his father 
in his behalf, and that whenever Tom had passed his examination, and 
was in readiness for his voyage, he should come or write to him, and 
he would find him fully disposed to serve and befriend him, "Mean- 
while," wrote he, " let me hear of you. I am really anxious to learn 
how you acquit yourself at the ordeal, for which you have the cordial 
good wishes of your fi-iend, F. Conyers." 

Oh, if the great men of our acquaintance — and we all of us, no 
matter liow hermit-lilve we may live, have our " great men" — could 
only know and feel what ineftable pleasui'e will sometimes be derived 
from the chance expressions they employ towards us — words whicli, 
little significant in themselves, perhaps, have some touch of good 
fellowship or good feeling, now reviving a " bygone," now far-seeing a 
future, tenderly thrilling through us by some little allusion to a trick 
of our temperament, noted and observed by one in whose interest we 
never till then knew we had a share — if, I say, they were but aware 
of this, how delightful they might make themselves ! — what charming 
friends! — and, it is but fair to own, what dangerous patrons! 

I leave my reader to apply the reflection to the case before him, 
and then follow me to the pleasant quarters of a weil-maintaiued 
country-house, full of guests and abounding in gaiety. 



BAUEINGTOy. 



CHAPTEE XVIIT. 



"My reader is already aware that I am telling of some forty years 
ago, and tlierefore I liave no apologies to make for habits and ways 
which our more polished age has pronounced barbarous. Now, at 
Cobham, the men sat after dinner over their wine when the ladies had 
witlidrawn, and, I grieve to say, fulfilled this usage with a zest and. 
enjoyment that unequivocally declared it to be the best hour of the 
whole twenty-four. 

Friends could now get together, conversation could range over 
personalities, egotisms liave their day, and bygones be disinterred 
without need of an explanation. Pew, indeed, who did not unbend 
at such a moment, and relax in that genial atmosplierc begotten of 
closed curtains, and comfort, and good claret. I am not so certain 
that we are wise in our utter abaudoniiient of what must have often 
conciliated a difference or reconciled a grudge. ITownaany a lurking 
discontent, too subtle for intervention, must have been dissipated in 
the general burst of a common laugh or the racy enjoyment of a good 
story ! Decidedly tlie decanter has often played peace-maker, though 
popular prejudice inclines to give it a different mission. 

On the occasion to which I would now invite my reader, the party 
were seated — by means of that genial discovery, a horse-shoe-table — 
around the fire at Cobham. It was a true country-house society of 
neighbours who knew each other well, sprinkled with guests — strangers 
to every one. There were all ages and all temperaments, from the 
hardy old squire, whose mellow cheer was known at the fox-cover, to 
the young heir fresh from Oxford and loud about Leicestershire ; 
gentlemen-farmers and sportsmen, and parsons and soldiers, blended 
together with just enough of disparity of pursuit to season talk and 
freshen experiences. 

The conversation, wliich for a while was partly on sporting matters, 
varied with little episodes of personal achievement, and those little 
boastings whicli end iu a bet, was suddenly interrupted by a hasty 
call for Doctor Dill, who was wanted at the " Fisherman's Home." 

" Can't you stay to fmisli this bottle. Dill ?" said the Admiral, 
•who had not heard for w liom he had been sent. 

*' I fear not, Sir. It is a long ruw down to the cottae"e.*' 



EAKETNGTON. ]47 

•' So it's poor Barrington again! I'm sincerely sorry for it! And 
now, I'll not ask you to delay. Ey the way, take my boat. Elwes," 
said he to the servant, " tell tlie men to get tlie boat ready at once 
for Doctor Dill, and come and say when it is so." 

The Doctor's gratitude was profuse, though probably a dim vista 
of the "tip" that might be expected from him detracted from the 
fulness of the enjoyment, 

" Pind out if I could be of any use, Dill," whispered the Admiral, 
as the Doctor arose. " Tour own tact will show if there be anything- 
I could do. You understand me; I have the deepest regard for old 
Barrington, and his sister too." 

Dill promised to give his most delicate attention to the point, and 
departed. 

"While this little incident was occurring, Stapylton, who sat at an 
angle of the fireplace, Avas amusing two or three listeners by an 
account of his intended dinner at the " Home," and the haughty 
refusal of Miss Barrington to receive him. 

" Tou must tell Sir Charles the story!" cried out Mr. Bushe. 
" He'll soon recognise the old Major from your imitation of him." 

" Hang the old villain ! he shot a dog-fox the other morning, and 
he knows well how scarce they are getting in the country," said 
another. 

" I'll never forgive myself for letting him have a lease of that place," 
said a third ; "he's a disgrace to the neighbourhood." 

" You're not talking of Barrington, surely," called out Sir Charles'. 

" Of course not. I was speaking of M'Cormick. Barrington is 
another stamp of man, and here's his good health !" 

" He'll need all your best wishes. Jack," said the host, " for Doctor 
Dill has just been called away to see him." 

" To see old Peter ! Why, I never knew him to have a day's 
illness!" 

" He's dangerously ill now," said the Admiral, gravely. " Dill tells 
me that he came home from the Assizes hale and hearty, in high 
spirits at some verdict in his favour, and brought back the Attorney- 
General to spend a day or two with hi-m ; but that, on arriving, he 
found a young fellow whose father, or grandfather — for I haven't it 
correctly — had been concerned in some way against GTeorge Bar- 
rington, and that high words passed between old Peter and this 
youth, who was turned out on tlie spot, while poor Barrington, over- 
come by emotion, was struck down with a sort of paralysis. As 1 
have said, I don't know the story accurately, for even Dill himself 

l2 



1-iS JiAliniNGToX. 

only picked it up from the servants at the cottage, neither Miss Bar- 
rington iior Withering having told him one word on the subject." 

" That is the very same story I heard at the village where we 
dined," broke in Stapylton, " and IM'Cormick added that he re- 
membex'ed the name. Conyers — the young man is called Conyers 
— did occur iu a certain famous accusation against Colonel iJarring- 
ton." 

"Well, but," interposed Cushe, "isn't all that an old story now ? 
Isn't the whole thing a matter of twenty years ago ?" 

" Not so much as that," said Sir Ciiarles. "I remember reading 
it all when I was iu command of the Madagascar — 1 Ibrget the exact 
year, but I was at Corfu." 

" At all events," said Bushe, " it's long enough past to be for- 
gotten, or forgiven ; and old Peter was the very last man I could 
ever have supposed likely to carry on an ancient grudge against any 
one." 

"Not where his son was concerned. Wherever George's name 
entered, forgiveness of the man that wronged him was impossible," 
said another. 

" You are scarcely just to my old friend," interposed the Admiral. 
" First of all, we have not the facts before us. IMany of us here 
have never seen, some have never heard of, the great Barrington 
Inquiry, and of such as have, if their memories be not better than 
miue, they can't discuss the matter with much profit." 

" I followed the case when it occurred," chimed in the former 
speaker, " but I own, with Sir Charles, that it has gone clean out of 
my head since that time." 

"You talk of injustice, Cobham, injustice to old Peter Barring- 
ton," said an old man from the end of the table ; " but I would ask 
are we quite just to poor George ? I knew him well. My son 
served in the same regiment with him before he w'cnt out to India, 
and no finer nor nobler hearted fellow than George Barrington ever 
lived. Talk of him ruining his father by his extravagance ! Why 
he'd have cut oft' his right hand rather than cause him one pang, one 
moment of displeasure. ]3arrington ruined himselC; that insane 
passion for law has cost him far more than lialf what he was worth 
in the world. Ask AVitheriug, he'll tell you something about it. 
AVhy Withering's own fees in that case before ' the Lords' amount to 
upwards of two thousand guineas." 

" I won't dispute the question with you, Powndes," said the Ad- 
miral. " Scandal says you have a taste for a trial at bar yourself" 



BAUJllXGTON, l-tO 

The hit told, ami called for a hearty laugh, in which Fowiuks him- 
self joiiu-d freely. 

" Fm a buiued child, however, and keep away from the fire," said 
he, good-liumoiiredly ; " but old Peter seems rather to like being 
siiiged. There lie is agaiu with his Privy Couucil case for next term, 
and with, I suppose, as niucli chance of success as I should iiave in a 
suit to recover a Greek estate of some of my Phoenician ances- 
tors." 

It was not a company to sympathise deeply with such a litigious 
spirit. The hearty and vigorous tone of squiredom, young and old, could 
not understand it as a passion or a pursuit, and they mainly agreed 
that nothing but some strange perversion could have made the 
generous nature of old Barrington so fond of law. Gradually the 
younger members of the party slipped away to the druwing-room, 
till, in the changes that ensued, Stapyltou found himself next to Mr. 
Fowndes. 

"I'm glad to see, Captain," said the old Squire, " that modern 
fashion of deserting the claret-jug has not invaded your niess. I own 
I like a man who lingers over his wine." 

" We have no pretext for leaving it, remember that," said Sta- 
pylton, smiling. 

" Very true. The placeiis uxor is sadly out of place in a soldier's 
life. Your married officer is but a sorry comrade ; beside, how is a 
fellow to be a hero to the enemy who is daily bullied by his wife ?" 

" I think you said that you had served ?" interposed Stapyltou. 

" No. My sou was in the army ; he is so still, but holds a Gover- 
norship in the West Indies. He it was who knew this Barrington 
that we were speaking of." 

" Just so," said Stapyltou, drawing his chair closer, so as to converse 
more confidentially. 

" You may imagine what very uneventful lives we country gentle- 
men live," said the old Squire, " when we can continue to talk over 
one memorable case for something like twenty years, just because one 
of the parties to it was our neighbour." 

"You appear to have taken a lively interest in it," said Stapyltou, 
who rightly conjectured it was a favourite theine with the old 
Squire. 

" Yes. Barrington and my son were friends ; they came down to 
my house together to shoot ; and with all his eccentricities, and they 
were n^auy, I liked Mad George, as they called him." 

" He was a good fellow, then?" 



150 "BARraNQTON. 

"A tliorouglily good fellow, but the shyest that ever lived; to 
all outward seeming rough and careless, but sensitive as a woman all 
the while. He would have walked up to a camion's mouth with a 
calm step, but an aft'ecting story would bring tears to his eyes; and 
then, to cover this weakness, which ho was well ashamed of, he'd rush 
into fifty follies and extravagancies. As he said himself to me one 
day, alluding to some feat of rash absurdity, ' I have been taking 
another inch off the dog's tail' — he referred to the story of Alci- 
biades, who docked his dog to take off public attention from his 
heavier transgressions." 

" There was no truth in these accusations against him ?" 

" Who knows ? George was a passionate fellow, and he'd have 
made short work of the man that angered him. I myself never so 
entirely acquitted him as many who loved him less. At all events, 
he was hardly treated ; he was regularly hunted down. I imagine 
he must have made many enemies, for witnesses sprung up against 
bim on all sides, and he was too proud a fellow to ask for one single 
testimony in his favour ! If ever a man met death broken-hearted, 
he did !" 

A pause of several minutes occurred, after which the old squire 
resumed: 

" My son told me that after Barrington's death there was a strong 
revulsion in his favour, and a great feeling that he had been hardly 
dealt b}'. Some of the Supreme Council, it is said, too, were dis- 
posed to behave generously towards his child, but old Peter, in an 
evil hour, would hear of nothing short of restitution of all the ter- 
ritory, and a regular rehabilitation of George's memory besides; in 
fact, he made the most extravagant demands, and disgusted tlie two 
or three who were kindly and well disposed towards his cause. Had 
they indeed — as he said — driven his son to desperation, he could 
scarcely ask them to declare it to the world ; and yet nothing short 
of tliis would satisfy him ! ' Come forth,' wrote he — I read the letter 
myself; — ' come forth and confess that your evidence Avas forged and 
your witnesses suborned ; that you wanted to annex the territory, 
and the only road to your object was to impute treason to the most 
loyal heart that ever served his king!' Imagine what chance of 
favourable consideration remained to the man who penned such words 
as these." 

'•And he prosecutes the case still ?" 

"Ay, and will do to the day of his death. Withering — who was 
an old school-fellow of mine — has got me to try what I could do to 
persuade him to come to some terms ; and, indeed, to do old Peter 



BAEEINGTON. 151 

justice, it is not the money part of tlie matter he is so obstinate about ; 
it is tlie question of what he calls George's fair fame and honour ; and 
cue cannot exactly say to him, ' Who on earth cares a brass button 
whether George Barrington was a rebel or a true man ? AVlicther he 
deserved to die an independent E,ajah of some place with a hard name, 
or a loyal subject of his Majesty George the Third ?' I own I, one 
day, did go so close to the wind, on that subject, that the old mau 
started up, and said, ' I hope I misapprehend you, Harry Fowndes. 
I hope sincerely that I do so, for if not, I'll have a shot at you, as 
sure as my name is Peter Barrington.' Of course I ' tried back' at 
once, and assured him it was a pure misconception of my meaning, 
and that until the East India folk fairly acknowledged that they had 
wronged his son, he could not, with honour, approach the question of 
a compromise in the money matter." 

"That day, it may be presumed, is very far oft'," said Stapylton, 
half languidly. 

" Well, Withering opines not. He says that they are weary of the 
whole case. They have had, perhaps, some misgivings as to the entire 
justice of what they did. Perhaps they have learned something during 
the course of the proceedings which may have influenced their judg- 
ment ; and not impossible is it that they pity the old man fighting out 
his life ; and perhaps, too, Barrington himself may have softened a 
little, since he has begun to feel that his granddaughter — for George 
left a child — had interests which his own indignation could not right- 
fully sacrifice; so that, amongst all these perhapses, who knows but 
some happy issue may come at last." 

" That Barrington race is not a very pliant one," said Stapylton, 
half dreamily ; and then, in some haste, added, " at least, such is the 
character they give them here." 

" Some truth there maybe in that. Men of a strong temperament, 
and with a large share of self-dependence, generally get credit from 
the world for obstinacy, just because the road they see out of diffi- 
culties is not the popular one. But even with all this, I'd not call 
old Peter self-willed — at least. Withering tells me that from time to 
time, as he has conveyed to him the opinions and experiences of old 
Indian oflicers, some of whom had either met with or heard of 
George, he has listened with much and even respectful attention. And 
as all their counsels have gone against his own convictions, it is some- 
thing to give them a patient hearing." 

" He has thus permitted strangers to come and speak with him on 
these topics ?" asked Stapylton, eagerly. 

" No, no — not he. These men had called on Withering — met him, 



152 EAKRINGTON. 

perhaps, -a society — lieard of his interest in George Barrington's 
case, and came good-naturedly to volunteer a word of counsel in 
favour of an old comrade. Nothing more natural, I think." 

" Nothing. I quite agree with you ; so much so, indeed, that having 
served some years in India, and in close proximity, too, to one of the 
native courts, I was going to ask you to present me to your friend, 
Mr. "Withering, as one not altogetlier incapable of alfordiug him some 
information." 

'' With a heart and a half. I'll do it." 

"I say, Harry," cried out the host, " if you aiul Captain Stapylton 
will neither fill your glasses nor pass the wine, 1 tliink we had better 
joiu the ladies." 

And now there was a general move to the drawing-room, where 
several evening guests had already assembled, making a somewhat 
numerous company. Polly Dill was there, too — not the wearied 
looking, care-worn figure we last saw her, when her talk was of " dead 
anatomies," but the lively, sparkling, bright-eyed Polly, who sang the 
melodies to the accompaniment of him v.ho could make every note 
thrill with tlie sentiment his own genius had linked to it. I half wish 
I had not a story to tell — that is, that I had not a certain road to take 
— that I might wander at will through by-path and lane, and linger 
on the memories thus by a chance awakened! xA.h, it was no small 
triunipli to lift out of obscure companionship and vulgar associations 
the music of our land, and wed it to words immortal, to show us that 
the pebble at our feet was a gem to be worn on the neck of beautv, 
and to prove to us, besides, that our language could be as lyrical as 
Anacreon's own ! 

'■ I am enchanted with your singing," whispered Stapvlton, in 
Polly's ear; "but I'd forego all the enjoyment not to see you so 
pleased with your companion. I begin to detest the little Poet." 

" I'll tell him so," said she, half gravely ; " and lie'll luiow well that 
it is the coarse hate of the Saxon." 

" I'm no Saxon !" said he, tlushiiigand darkening at the same time. 
And then, recovering his calm, he added: " There are no Saxons left 
amongst us, nor any Celts for us to honour with our contempt ; but 
come away from the piano, and don't let him fancy he has bound you 
by a spell." 

"But he has," said she, eagerly — " he has, and I don't care to 
oreak it." 

But the little Poet, running his fingers lightly over the keys, 
rarbled out, in a half-plaintive whisper: 



BARRINQTOy 153 

"Oil, ti'll iiic, (Iciir roily, why is it tliiiic eyes, 

Tiirougli tlicir brightness, licave something of sorrow? 
I cannot suppose that the glow of such skies 
Should ever mean gloom for the morrow; 

Or must I believe that your heart is afar, 

And you only make semblance to hear me. 
While 3'our thoughts are away to that splendid hussar, 
And 'tis only your image is near nie?" 

" An uiipiibli:?]ied melody, I fancy," said Stapylton, with a malicious 
twinkle of his eye. 

" Not even corrected as yet," said the Poet, with a glance at 
Polly. 

What a triiniiph it was for a mere village beauty to be thus tilted 
for by such gallant knights ; but Polly was practical as well as vain, 
and a certain unmistakable something in Lady Cobham's eye told lier 
that two of the most valued guests of the house were not to be thus 
withdrawn from circulation, and with this wise impression on her 
mind, she slipped hastily away, on the pretext of something to say to 
iier father. And although it was a mere pretence on her part, there 
was that in her look as they talked together that betokened their con- 
versation to be serious. 

" I tell you again," said he, in a sharp but low whisper, '" she will 
not suffer it. Tou used not to make mistakes of this kind formerly, 
and I cannot conceive why you should do so now." 

" But, dear papa," said she, with a strange half smile, " don't you 
remember your own story of the gentleman who got tipsy because he 
foresaw he would never be invited again." 

But the Doctor was in no jesting mood, and would not accept of 
the illustration. He spoke now even more angrily than before. 

" Yo\x have only to see how much they make of him to know well 
that he is out of our reach," said he, bitterly. 

" A long shot. Sir Lucius; there is such honour in a long shot," 
said she, with infinite drollery ; and then, with a sudden gravity, 
added, " I have never forgotten the man you cured, just because your 
hand shook, and you gave him a double dose of laudanum." 

This was too much for his patience, and he turned away in disgust 
at her frivolity. In doing so, however, he came in front of Lady 
Cobhain, who had come up to request Miss Dill to play a certain 
Spanish dance for two young ladies of the company. 

" Of course, your Ladyship — too much honour for her — she will be 
charmed , my little girl is overjoyed when she can contribute even 
thus humblv to the pleasure of your delightful house " 



154 BA.KEINGTON. 

Never did a misderaeanist take liis " six weeks " with a more com- 
plete consciousuess of penalty than did Polly sit down to tliat piano. 
She well under8tood it as a sentence, and, let me own, submitted well 
and gracefully to her fate. Nor was it, after all, such a slight trial, 
for tlie fandango was her own speciality ; she had herself brought the 
dance and the music to Cobham. They who were about to dance it 
were her own pupils, and not very proficient ones either. And with 
all this she did her part well and loyally. Never had she played with 
more spirit — never marked the time with a firmer precision — never 
threw more tenderness into the graceful parts, nor more of triumphant 
daring into the proud ones. Amid the shower of " Bravos !" that 
closed the performance — for none thought of the dancers — the little 
Poet drew nigh and whispered, " How naughty !" 

'■ AVhy so ?" asked she, innocently. 

"What a blaze of light to throw over a sorry picture," said he, 
dangling his eye-glass, and playing that part of middle-aged Cupid 
he was so fond of assuming. 

"Do you know, Sir," said Lady Cobham, comiug hastily towards 
him, "that I will not permit you to turn the heads of my young 
ladies ? Dr. Dill is already so afraid of your fascinations that he has 
ordered his carriage. Is it not so ?" she went on, appealing to the 
Doctor, with increased rapidity. '• But you will certainly keep your 
promise to us. AVe shall expect you on Thursday at dinner." 

Overwhelmed with confusion, Dill answered — he knew not what — 
about pleasure, and punctuality, and so forth ; and then turned away 
to ring for that carriage he had not ordered before. 

" And so you tell me Barrington is better ?" said the Admiral, 
taking him by the arm and leading him away. " The danger is over, 
then?" 

" I believe so ; his mind is calm, and he is only suffering now from 
debility. AVhat with the Assizes, and a week's dissipation at Kil- 
kenny, and this shock — for ifc was a shock — the whole thing was far 
more of a mental, than a bodily ailment." 

"You gave him my message? You said how anxious I felt to 
know if I could be of any use to him ?" 

" Yes ; and he charged Mr. Withering to come and thank you, for 
he is passing by Cobham to-morrow on his way to Kilkenny." 

"Indeed! Georgiana, don't forget that. "Withering will call here 
to-morrow ; try and keep him to dine, at least, if we cannot secure 
him for longer. He's one of those fellows I am always delighted to 
meet. Where are you going, Dill ? Not taking your daughter away 
at this hour, are youF" 



BABEINGTOIf. 155 

The Doctor sighed, and muttered sometliing about dissipations thaf 
were only too fascinating, too engrossing. He did not exactly like td 
say that his passports had been sent him, and the authorities duly in- 
structed to give him " every aid and assistance possible." Tor a 
moment, indeed, Polly looked as though she would make some ex- 
planation of the matter ; but it was only a moment, and the slight 
flush on her cheek gave way quickly, and she looked somewhat paler 
than her wont. Meanwhile, the little Poet had fetched her shawl, 
and led her away, liumming, " Buona notte— buona sera !" as he went, 
in that half-caressing, half-quizzing way he could assume so jauntily. 
Stapylton walked behind with the Doctor, and whispered as he went, 
"If not inconvenient, might I ask the favour of a few minutes with 
you to-morrow ?" 

Dill assured him he was devotedly his servant ; and having fixed 
the interview for two o'clock, away they drove. The night was 
calm and starlight, and they had long passed beyond the grounds of 
Cobham, and were full two miles on their road before a word was 
uttered by either. 

" What was it her Ladyship said about Thursday next, at dinner ?" 
asked the Doctor, half-pettishly. 

" JNTothing to me, papa." 

" If I remember, it was that we had accepted the invitation already, 
and begging me not to forget it." 

'' Perhaps so," said she, dryly. 

" You are usually more mindful about these matters," said he, 
tartly, " and not so likely to forget promised festivities." 

" They certainly were not promised to me," said she ; "nor if they 
had been should I accept of them." 

" What do you mean ?" said he, angrily. 

" Simply, papa, that it is a house I will not re-enter, that's all," 

" Why, your head is turned, your brains are destroyed by flattery, 
girl. Tou seem totally to forget that we go to these places merely 
by courtesy — we are received only on sutierance — we are not their 
equals." 

" The more reason to treat us with deference, and not render out 
position more painful than it need be." 

" Tolly and nonsense ! Deference, indeed ! How much deference 
is due from eiglit thousand a year to a Dispensary Doctor, or his 
daughter ? I'll have none of these absurd notions. If they made 
any mistake towards you it was by over-attention — too much notice." 

" Tliat is very possible, papa ; and it was not always very flattering, 
for that reason." 



loG I^ARRINOTOK. 

'•AVliy. what is your liead full of? Do you fancy you arc oue of 
Lord Carricklougli's daughters, eh r" 

"No, papa; for they are shockingly freckled, and very plain." 

"Do you know your real station," cried he, more angrily, "and 
that if, by the courtesy of society, niy position secures acceptance 
anywhere, it entails nothing — positively nothing — to those belonging 
to me?" 

" Such being the case, is it not wise of us not to want anything — 
not to look for it — not to pine after it ? You shall see, papa, whether 
I fret over my exclusion from Cobhani." 

The Doctor was not in a mood to approve of such philosophy, and 
he drove on, only showing — by an extx-a cut of his whip — the tone 
and temper that beset him. 

" You ai'e to have a visit from Captain Stapylton to-morrow, papa ?" 
said she, in the manner of a half question. 

"Who told you so?" said he, with a touch of eagerness in his 
voice ; for suddenly it occurred to him if Polly knew of this appoint- 
ment she hei'self might be interested iu its object. 

" He asked me what was the most likely time to find you at home, 
and also if he might venture to hope he should be presented to 
mamma." 

That was, as the Doctor thought, a very significant speech ; it 
might mean a great deal, a very great deal indeed ; and so he turned 
it over and over in his mind for some time before he spoke again. 
At last he said, 

" I haven't a notion what he's coming about, Polly — have you ?" 

" No, Sir ; except, perhaps, it be to consult you. He told me he 
had sprained his arm, or his shoulder, the other day, when his horse 
swerved." 

" Oh no, it can't be that, Polly ; it can't be that." 

"Why not the pleasure of a morning call, then ? He is an idle 
man, and finds time heavy on his hands." 

A short " humph" showed that this explanation was not more suc- 
cessful than the former, and the Doctor, rather irritated with this 
game of fence, for so he deemed it, said bluntly, 

" Has he been showing you any marked attentions of late ? Have 
you noticed anything peculiar in his maimer towards you?" 

" Nothing whatever, Sir," said slie, with a irank boldness. "He 
has chatted and flirted with me, just as every one else presumes he 
has the right to do with a girl in a station below their own ; but he 
has never been more impertinent in this way than any other young 
man of fashion " 



RABEiNarox. 157 

"But there have beeu" — he was sorely puzzled for the word he 
wanted, and it was only as a resource, not out of choice, he said — 
"attentions ?" 

" Of course, papa, wliat many would call, in the cognate phrase, 
marked attentions; but girls, who go into the world as I do, no more 
mistake what these mean than would you youi'self, papa, if passingly 
asked what was good for a sore-throat, fancy that the inquirer in- 
tended to fee you." 

" I see, Polly, I see," muttered he, as the illustration came home 
to him. Still, after ruminating for some time, a change seemed to 
come over his thoughts, for he said, 

" But you might be wrong this time, Polly ; it is by no means im- 
possible that you might be wrong." 

" My dear papa," said she, graveiy, "when a man of his rank is 
disposed to think seriously of a giil in mine, he does not begin by 
flattery ; he rather takes the line of correction and warning, telling 
her fifty little platitudes about trifles in manner, and so forth, by her 
docile acceptance of which, he conceives a high notion of himself, 
and a half liking for lier. But I have no need to go into these 
things ; enough if I assure you Captain Stapylton's visit has no con- 
cern for me ; he either comes out of pure idleness, or he wants to 
make use of ?/o«f." 

The last words opened a new channel to Dill's thoughts, and he 
drove on in silent meditation over them. 



CHAPTER XIX. 



THE HOUR OF LUNCHEON'. 



If there be a special agreeability about all the meal-times of a 
pleasant country-house, there is not one of them which, in the charm 
of an easy, unconstrained gaietv, can rival the ho\ir of luncheon. 
At breakfast, one is too fresh ; at dinner, too formal ; but luncheon, 
like an opening manhood, is full of its own bright projects. The 
plans of the day have already reached a certain maturity, and fix- 
tures have been made for riding parties, or phaeton drives, or 
flirtations \\x the garden. The very strangers who looked coldly at 



158 BAKIUNGXOX. 

each other over their inoriung papers liave slialvcn into a senii- 
intimaey, aud little traits of cliaractcr and temperament, which 
■would have been studiously shrouded in the more solemn festivals 
of the day, are now displayed with a frank and fearless confidence. 
The half-toilette and the tweed coat, mutton broth and " Balmorals," 
seem infinitely more congenial to acquaintauceship tlian the full- 
blown splendour of evening dress and the grander discipline of 
dinner. 

Irish social life permits of a practice of which I do not, while 
recording, constitute myself the advocate or tlie apologist — a sort of 
good-tempered banter called quizzing — a habit I scarcely believe 
practicable in other lands ; that is, I know of no country where it 
could be carried on as harmlessly and as gracefully, where as much 
wit could be expended innocuously — as little good feeling jeopardied 
in the display. The happiest hour of the day for such passages as 
these was that of luncheon, and it was in the very clash and clatter 
of the combat that a servant announced the Attorney- General ! 

AVhat a damper did the name prove ! Short of a Bishop himself, 
no announcement could have spread more terror over the younger 
members of the company, embodying, as it seemed to do, all that 
could be inquisitorial, intolerant, and overbearing. Great, however, 
was the astonishment to see, instead of the stern incarnation of 
Crown prosecutions and arbitrary commitments, a tall, thin, slightly- 
stooped man, dressed in a grey shooting-jacket, and with a hat plen- 
tifully garnished with fishing-fiies. He came lightly into the room, 
and kissed the hand of his hostess with a mixture of cordiality and 
old-fashioned gallantry that became him well. 

" My old luck, Cobham !" said he, as he seated himself at table. 
" I have fished the stream all the way from the Hed House to this, 
and never so much as a rise to reward me." 

" They knew you — they knew you, AVithering," chirped out the 
Poet, " and they took good care not to put in an appearance, with 
the certainty of a ' detainer.' " 

" Ah ! you here ! That decanter of sherry screened you com- 
pletely from my view," said Withering, whose sarcasm on his size 
touched the very sorest of the other's susceptibilities. " And talk- 
ing of recognisances, how comes it you are here, and a large party 
at Lord Dunraney's all assembled to meet you ?" 

The Poet, as not infrequent w\th him, had forgotten everything 
of this prior engagement, and wan now overwhelmed with his forget- 
fulness. The ladies, however, j^rcssed eagerly around him with con- 
solation so like caresses, that he vas speedily himself agaiu. 



BABRTNaTOX. 150 

" How natural a mistake after all," said the lawyer. " The old 
song says : 

Tell me where beauty, and wit, and wine 
Are met, and I'll say where I'm asked to dine. 

Ah ! Tommy, yours is the profession after all ; always sure of your 
retainer, and never but one brief to sustain — ' T. j\I. versus the Heart 
of Woman.'" 

" One is occasionally nonsuited, however," said the other, half 
pettishly. " By the way, how was it you got that verdict for old 
Barrington t'other day ? Was it true that Plowden got hold o^ your 
bag by mistake ?" 

" Not only that, but he made a point for us none of us bad dis- 
covered." 

" How historical the blunder : 

The case is classical, as I and you know ; 
He came for Venus, but made love to Juno." 

" If Peter Barrington gained bis cause by it, I'm heartily rejoicod, 
and I wisli him health and years to enjoy it." The Admiral said this 
with a cordial good will as he drank oft" his glass. 

" He's all right again," said Withering. " I left him working 
away with a hoe and a rake this morning, looking as hale and 
hearty as he did a dozen years ago." 

" A man must have really high deserts ia whose good fortune so 
many are well-wishers," said Stapylton ; and by the courteous tone 
of the remark AVitliering's attention was attracted, and he speedily 
begged the Admiral to present him to his guest. They continued to 
converse together as they arose from table, and with such common 
pleasure, that when Withering expressed a hope the acquaintance 
might not end there, Stapyltou replied by a request that he would 
allow him to be his fellow-traveller to Kilkenny, whither he was 
about to go on a regimental afHiir. The arrangement was quickly 
made, to the satisfaction of each, and as they drove away, while many 
bewailed the departure of such pleasant members of the party, the 
little Poet siraperingly said, 

" Shall I own that my heart is relieved of a care? — 
Tliough you'll think the confession is petty — 
I cannot but feel, as I look on the pair, 
It is ' Peebles' gone off with ' Dalgetty.' " 

As for the fellow-travellers, they jogged along very pleasantly on 
their way, as two consummate men of the world are sure to do when 



IGO r.AKItlXOTOX. 

they incct. For, wliat Frcomasonry equals that of two shrewd 
students of life? How flippantly do they discuss each tlieme ! how 
easily read each character, and unravel each motive that presents 
itself! AVhat the lawyer gained by the technical subtlety of his 
profession, the soldier made up for by his wider experience of man- 
kind. There were, besides, a variety of experiences to exchange. 
Toga could tell of much that interested the " man of war," and he, in 
turn, made himself extremely agreeable by bis Eastern information, 
not to say that he was able to give a correct version of many Hin 
dostanee phrases and words which the old lawyer eagerly desired to 
acquire. 

" All you have been telling me has a strong interest for me. 
Captain Stapylton," said he, as they drove into Kilkenny. " I 
have a case which has engaged my attention for years, and is likely 
to occupy what remains to me of life — a suit of which India is the 
scene, and Orientals figure as some of the chief actors — so that I can 
scarcely say how fortunate I feel this chance meeting with you." 

'•' I shall deem myself greatly honoured if the acquaintance does not 
end here." 

" It shall not, if it depend upon me," said AVithering, cordially. 
" You said something of a visit you were about to make to Dublin. 
AVill you do me a great — a very great — favour, and make my 
liouse your home while you stay ? This is my address, ' 18, Merriou- 
square.' It is a bachelor's hall ; and you can come and go without 
ceremony." 

" The plan is too tempting to hesitate about. I accept your in- 
vitation with all the frankness you have given it. Meanwliile, you 
will be my guest here." 

" That is impossible. I must start for Cork this evening." 

And now they parted; not like men who had been strangers a few 
liours back, but like old acquaintances, only needing the occasion 
to feel as old friends. 



BAURINGTON. 



CHAPTER XX 

AN INTERIOR AT THE DOCTOIl's. 

AViiEX Captain Stapylton made bis appointment to wait on Doctor 
Dill, he was not aware that the Attorney- General was expected at 
Cobham. No sooner, however, had he learned that fact than be 
changed his purpose, and intimated his intention of running up for a 
(lay to Kilkenny, to hear what was going on in tlie regiment. No 
regret for any disappointment be might be giving to the village 
Doctor, no self-reproach for the breach of an engagement — all of bis 
own making — crossed bis mind. It is, indeed, a theme for a moralist 
to explore, the ease with which a certain superiority in station can 
divest its possessor of all care for the sensibilities of those below him ; 
and yet in the little household of the Doctor that promised visit was 
the source of no small discomfort and trouble. The Doctor's study — 
the sanctum in which the interview should be held — liad to be dusted 
and smartened up. Old boots, and overcoats, and smashed driving- 
whips, and odd stirrup-leathers, and stable-lanterns, and garden imple- 
ments, bad all to be banished. The great table in front of the Doctor's 
chair bad also to be professionally littered with notes, and cards, 
and periodicals, not forgetting an ingenious admixture of strange 
instruments of torture, quaint screws, and inscrutable-looking scissors, 
destined, doubtless, to make many a faint heart tlie fainter in their 
dread presence. All these details had to be carried out in various 
ways through tbe i-est of the establishment — in the drawing-room, 
wherein the great man was to be ushered — in the dining-room, where 
he was to lunch. Upon Polly did the greater part of these cares 
devolve ; not alone attending to tlie due disposal of chairs, and sofas, 
and tables, but to the preparation of certain culinary delicacies, whicb 
were to make the Captain forget the dainty luxuries of Cobham. 
And, in truth, there is a marvellous esprit du corps in the way a 
woman will fag and slave herself to make the bumble household she 
belongs to, look its best, even to tbe very guest she has least at heart, 
for Polly did not like Stapylton. Flattered at first by his notice, she 
was oifendcd afterwards at the sort of conscious condescension of his 
manner ; a something which seemed to say, I can be charming, posi- 
tiveiy fascinating, but don't imagine for a moment that there is 
anything especial in it. I captivate — just as I fish, hunt, sketch, or 

M 



162 BABEINGTON. 

shoot — to amuse uiyselt'. Aud witli all this, liow was it he was really 
not a coxcomb ? AVas it the grave dignity of his address, or the quiet 
stateliness of his person, or was it a certain uniformity, a Iceepiug, 
that pervaded all he said or did? I am not quite sure wliether all 
three did not contribute to this end, and make him what the world 
confessed — a most well-bred gentleman. 

Polly was, in her way, a shrewd observer, and she felt that Sta;[)yl- 
ton's manner towards her was that species of urbane condescension 
with which a great master of a game deigns to play with a very 
humble proficient. He moved about the board with an assumption 
that said, I can checkmate you when I will ! Now this is hard 
enough to bear when the pieces at stake are stained ivory, but it is 
less endurable still wheu they are our emotions aud our wishes. And 
yet witli all this before her, Polly ordered, and arranged, and super- 
intended, and directed, with an energy that never tired, and an 
activity that never relaxed. 

As for Mrs. Dill, no similar incident in the life of Clarissa had pre- 
pared her for the bustle and preparation she saw on every side, and 
she was fairly perplexed between the thought of a seizure for rent and 
a fire, casualties which, grave as they were, she felt she could meet, 
with Mr. Eichardson beside her. The Doctor himself was unusually 
fidgety and anxious. Perhaps he ascribed considerable importance 
to this visit — perhaps he thought Polly had not been candid with 
him, and that in reality she knew more of its object than she had 
avowed ; and so he walked hurriedly from room to room, and out into 
the garden, and across the road to the river's side, and once as far as 
the bridge, consulting his watch, and calculating that as it now only 
wanted eight minutes of two o'clock the arrival could scarcely be long 
delayed. 

1 It was on his return he entered the drawing-room and found Polly, 
now plainly but becomingly dressed, seated at her work, with a seem- 
ing quietude and repose about her, strangely at variance with her late 
display of activity. " I've had a look down the Graigue road," said 
he, " but can see nothing. Tou are certain he said two o'clock." 

•• Quite certain. Sir." 

" To be sure, he might come by the river ; there's water enough 
now for the Cobham barge." 

She made no answer, though she half suspected some I'eply was 
expected. 

" And of course," continued the Doctor, " they'd have offered him 
the use of it. They seem to make a great deal of him up there." 



BAIIBINGTON. 163 

"A great deal, indeed, Sir," said she; but in a voice tliat was a 
mere echo of his owu. 

" And I suspect they know why. I'm sure they know why. People 
in their condition make no mistakes about each other ; and if he re- 
ceives much attention, it is because it's his due." 

No answer followed this speech, and he walked feverishly up and 
down the room, holding his watch in his closed hand. " I have a 
notion you must have mistaken him. It was not two, he said." 

"I'm positive it was two, Sir. But it can scarcely be much past 
that hour now." 

" It is seventeen minutes past two," said he, solemnly. And then, 
as if some fresh thought had just occiuTcd to him, asked, "Where's 
Tom ? I never saw him this morning." 

" He's gone out to take a walk. Sir. The poor fellow is dead beat 
by work, and had such a headache that I told him to go for a stroll 
as far as the Eed House, or Snow's Mill." 

" And I'll wager he did not want to be told twice. Anything for 
idleness with Itim .'" 

" "Well, papa, he is really doing his very best now. He is not 
naturally quick, and he has a bad memory, so that labour is no 
common toil; but his heart is in it, and I never saw him really 
anxious for success before." 

" To go out to India, I suppose," said Dill, sneeringly, " that 
notable project of the other good-for-nothing ; for, except in the 
matter of fortune, there's not much to choose between them. There's 
the half-hour striking now !" 

" The project has done this for him, at least," said she firmly — "it 
has given him hope !" 

" How I like to hear about hope," said he, with a peculiarly sar- 
castic bitterness. " I never knew a fellow worth sixpence that had 
that cant of ' hope ' in his mouth ! How much hope had I when I 
began the world ! How much have I now ?" 

" Don't you hope Captain Stapylton may not have forgotten his 
appointment, papa?" said she, with a quick drollery which sparkled 
in lier eye, but brought no smile to her lips. 

"AYell, here he is at last," said Dill, as he heard the sharp click 
]nade by the wicket of the little garden ; and he started up, and 
rushed to the window, " May I never!" cried he, in horror, " if it 
isn't M'Cormick ! Say we're out — that I'm at Graigue — that I 
won't be home till evening!" But while he was multiplying these 
excuses, the old Major had caught sight of him, and was waving liis 

m2 



1(yi BAllRINOTOX. 

liand in salutation from below. "It's too late — it's too late!" sighed 
Dill, bitterly ; " he sees me now — there's no help for it !" What bene- 
volent and benedictory expressions were nnittered below his breath, 
it is not for this history to record, but so vexed and irritated was he, 
tliat the Major had already entered the room ere he could compose 
his features into even a faint show of welcome. 

"I was down at the Dispensary," croaked out M'Cormick, "and 
they told me you were not expected there to-day ; and so I said, 
maybe he's ill, or maybe" — and here he looked shrewdly around 
him — " maybe tliere's something going on up at the house." 

" "What should there be going on, as you call it ?" responded Dill, 
angrily, for he was now at home, in presence of the family, and could 
not compound for that tone of servile acquiescence he employed on 
foreign service. 

" And, faix, I believe I was right ! Miss Polly isn't so smart this 
morning for nothing, no more than the saving cover is off the sofa, 
and tlie piece of gauze taken down from before the looking-glass, and 
the Times newspaper away from the rug!" 

" Are there any other domestic changes you'd like to remark upon, 
Major M'Cormick ?" said Dill, pale with rage. 

"Indeed, yes," rejoined the ot^er; "there's yourself, in the ele- 
gant black coat that I never saw since Lord Kilraney's funeral, and 
looking pretty much as lively and pleasant as you did at the cere- 
mony." 

" A gentleman has made an appointment with papa," broke in 
Polly, "and may be here at any moment." 

" I know who it is," said M'Cormick, with a finger on the side of 
his nose to imply intense cunning. " I know all about it !" 

"What do you know ? — what do you mean by all about it r" said 
Dill, with an eagerness he could not repress. 

" Just as much as yourselves — there now ! Just as much as your- 
selves !" said he, sententiously. 

" IBut apparently, Majoi-, you know far more," said Polly. 

" Maybe I do, maybe 1 don't ; but I'll tell you one thing, Dill, for 
your edification, and mind me if I'm not right : you're all mistaken 
about him, every one of ye!" 

" Whom are you talking of?" asked the Doctor, sternly. 

" Just the very man you mean yourself, and no other ! Oh, you 
needn't fuss and fume, I don't want to pry into your family secrets. 
Not that they'll be such secrets to-morrow or next day — the whole 
town will be talking of them — but as an old friend that could, maybe, 
give a word of advice " 



BARUINQTON. 1G5 

" Advice about wliat ? Will you just tell me about what ?" cried 
Dill, now bursting with anger. 

" I've done now. Not another word passes my lips about it IVom 
this minute. Follow your own road, and see where it will lead ye !" 

" Cannot you understand, Major M'Cormick, that we are totally 
unable to guess what you allude to? Neither papa nor I have the 
very faintest clue to your meaning, and if you really desire to serve 
us 3'ou will speak out plainly." 

'• Not another syllable, if I sat here for two years !" 

The possibility of such an infliction seemed so terrible to poor 
Polly, that she actually shuddered as she heard it. 

" Isn't that your mother I see sitting up there, with all the fine 
ribbons in her cap ?" whispered M'Cormick, as he pointed to a small 
room which opened off an angle of the larger one. " That's ' the 
hoodoo,' isn't it ?" said he, with a grin. This, I must inform my 
reader, was the M'Cormick for " boudoir." " AYell, I'll go and pay 
my respects to her." 

So little interest did Mrs. Dill take in the stir and movement 
around her, that the Major utterly lailed in his endeavours to torture 
her by all his covert allusions and ingeniously-drawn inferences. No 
matter what hints he dropped or doubts he suggested, she knew 
"Clarissa" would come w^ell out of all her trials; and beyond a 
little unmeaning simper, and a muttered " To be sure," " No doubt 
of it," and " "Why not," M'Cormick could obtain nothing from her. 

Meanwhile, in the outer room the Doctor continued to stride up 
and down with impatience, while Polly sat quietly working on, not 
the less anxious, perhaps, though her peaceful air betokened a mind 
at rest. 

" That must be a boat, papa," said she, without lifting her head, 
" that has just come up to the landing-place. I heard the plash of 
the oars, and now all is still again." 

" You're right ; so it is 1" cried he, as he stopped before the window. 
" But liow is this ! That's a lady I see yonder, and a gentleman 
along with her. That's not Stapylton, surely!" 

" He is scarcely so tall," said she, rising to look out, "but not very 
unlike him. But the lady, papa — the lady is Miss Barrington." 

Bad as M'Cormick's visit was, it was nothing to the possibility of 
such an advent as this, and Dill's expressions of anger were now neither 
measured nor muttered. 

" This is to be a day of disasters. I see it well, and no help for it," 
exclaimed he, passionately. " If there was one human being I'd hate 
to come here this morninfr, it's that old woman ! She's never civil. 



IGG BAuuiNtiro.v. 

She's not commouly decent in her manner towards me in hor ovm 
house, and what she'll be in mine is clean beyond me to guess. That's 
herself ! There she goes ! Look at her remarking — I see, she's re- 
marking on the weeds over the beds, and the smashed paling. She's 
laughing, too ! Oh, to be sure, it's tine laughing at people that's 
poor; and she might know something of that same herself. I know 
■who the man is now. That's the Colonel, who came to the ' Fisher- 
man's Home' on the night of the accident." 

" It would seem we are to hold a levee to-day," said Polly, giving 
a very fleeting glance at herself in the glass. And now a knock came 
to the door, and the man who acted gardener and car-driver and valet 
to the Doctor, announced that INIiss Barrington and Colonel Hunter 
Avere below. 

" Show thenx up," said Dill, with the peremptory voice of one 
ordering a very usual event, and intentionally loud enough to be heard 
below stairs. 

If Polly's last parting with Miss Barrington gave little promise of 
pleasure to their next meeting, the first look she caught of the old 
lady on entering the room dispelled all uneasiness on that score. 
Miss Dinah entered with a pleasing smile, and presented her friend. 
Colonel Hunter, as one come to thank the Doctor for much kindness 
to his young subaltern. "Whom, by the way," added he, "we 
thought to find here. It is only since we landed that we learned he 
had left tlie inn for Kilkenny." 

AVhile the Colonel continued to talk to the Doctor, Miss Dinali 
had seated herself on the sofa, with Polly at her side. 

" My visit this morning is to you," said she. " I have come to ask 
your forgiveness. Don't interrupt me, child; your forgiveness was 
the very word I used. I was very rude to you t'other morning, and 
being all in the wrong — like most people iu such circumstances — I was 
very angry with the person who placed me so." 

" But, my dear Madam," said Polly, " you had such good reason to 
suppose you were in the right, that this amende on your part is far 
too generous " 

" It is not at all generous — it is simply just. I was sorely vexed 
with you about that stupid wager, which you were very wrong to have 
had any share in ; vexed Avith your father, vexed with your brother — 
not that I believe his counsel Avould haA'e been absolute wisdom — and 
I Avas even vexed with my young Iricnd Conyers, because he had not 
the bad taste to be as angry Avith you as I Avas. When I Avas a young 
lady," said she, bridling up, and looking at once haughty and defiimt, 
"no man would have dared to approach me with such a proposal as 



UAHKINOTON. 1G7 

complicity in a wager. But I'm told that my ideas are autiquatccl, and 
the world has grown much wiser since that day." 

" Xay, Madam," said Polly, " but there is another difference that 
your politeness has prevented yon from appreciating. I mean the dif- 
ference in station between Miss Barrington and Polly Dill." 

It was a well directed shot, and told powerfull}'^, for Miss Barring- 
ton's eyes became clouded, and she turned her head away, while she 
pressed Polly's hand within her own with a cordial warmth. "Ah I" 
said she, feelingly, " I hope there are many points of resemblance 
between us. I have always tried to be a good sister. I know well 
what you have been to your brother." 

A very jolly burst of laughter from the inner room, where Hunter 
had already penetrated, broke in upon them, and the merry tones of 
bis voice were heard saying, " Take my word for it, madam, nobody 
could spare time now-a-days to make love in nine volumes. Life's 
too short for it. Ask my old brother-officer here if he could endure 
such a thirty years' war ; or rather let me turn here for an opinion. 
What does your daughter say on the subject ?" 

" Ay, ay," croaked out M'Cormick. " Marry in haste " 

" Or repent that you didn't. That's the true reading of the 
adage." 

'' The Major would rather apply leisure to the marriage, and make 
the repentance come " 

" As soon as possible afterwards," said Miss Dinah, tartly. 

" Faix, I'll do better still. I won't provoke the repentance at all." 

" Oh, Major, is it thus you treat me ?" said Polly, affecting to wipe 
her eyes. " Are my h.opes to be dashed thus cruelly ?" 

But the Doctor, who knew how savagely M'Cormick could resent 
even the most harmless jesting, quickly interposed, with a question 
whether Polly liad thought of ordering luncheon ? 

It is but fair to Doctor Dill to record the bland but careless way 
he ordered some entertainment for his visitors. He did it like the 
lord of a well-appointed household, who, when he said " serve," they 
served. It was in the easy confidence of one whose knowledge told 
him that the train was laid, and only waited for the match to ex- 
plode it. 

" May I have the honour, dear lady," said he, offering his arm to 
Miss Bai-rington. 

Now^ Miss Dinali had just observed that she had various small 
matters to transact in the village, and was about to issue forth for 
their performance ; but such is the force of a speciality, that she could 
not tear herself away without a peep into the dining-room, and a 



liJ3 BAKIUI^OTON. 

glance, at least, at arrangements that appeared so magically conjured 
lip. Nor was Dill insensible to the astonishment expressed in her face 
as her eyes ranged over the table. 

" It" your daughter be your housekeeper, Doctor Dill," said she, in 
a whisper, " I must give her my very heartiest approbation. These 
;ire matters I can speak of with autliority, and I pronounce her worthy 
of liigh commendation." 

" AVhat admirable salmon cutlets," cried the Colonel. " Why, 
Doctor, these tell of a French cook." 

" There she is beside you, the French cook 1" said the Major, with a 
malicious twinkle. 

"Tea," said Polly, smiling, though with a slight flush on her face, 
" if Major M'Cormick will be indiscreet enougli to tell tales, let us 
hope they will never be more damaging in their import." 

"And do you say — do you mean to tell me, that this curry is your 
handiwork? Why, this is high art." 

" Oh, she's artful enough, if it's that ye're wanting," muttered the 
Major. 

Miss Barrington, having apparently satisfied the curiosity she felt 
about the details of the Doctor's housekeeping, now took her leave ; 
not, however, without Doctor Dill offering his arm, on one side, 
while Polly, with polite observance, walked, on the other. 

" Look at that now," whispered the Major. " They're as much 
afraid of that old woman as if she were the Queen of Sheba ! And 
all because she was once a fine lady living at Barrington Hall." 

" Here's their health for it," said the Colonel, filling his glass — 
'' and in a bumper, too ! By the way," added he, looking around, 
" does not Mrs. Dill lunch with us ?" 

" Oh, she seldom comes to her meals ! She's a little touched 
liere." And he laid his finger on the centre of his forehead. " And, 
indeed, no wonder if she is." The benevolent Major was about to 
give some details of secret family history, when the Doctor and his 
(laughter returned to the room. 

The Colonel ate and talked untiringly. He was delighted with 
everything, and charmed witii himself for his good luck in chancing 
upon such agreeable people. He liked the scenery, the village, the 
beetroot salad, the bridge, the pickled oysters, the everoreeu oaks 
before the door. He was not astonished Conyers should linger on 
such a spot ; and then it suddenly occurred to him to ask when he 
liad left the village, and how. 

The Doctor could give no information on the point, and while lie 
■was surmising one thing and guessing another, M'Cormick whispered 



BAURINGTON. 109 

in the Colonel's ear, " Maybe it's a delicate point. How do you 

Jtuow wliat went on with " And a significant nod towards Polly 

finished the remark. 

" I wish I heard what Major M'Cormick has just said," said P0II3'. 

'' And it is exactly what I cannot repeat to you." 

" I suspected as much. So that my only request will be that you 
never remember it." 

" Isn't she sharp ! — sharp as a needle !" chimed in the Major. 

Checking, and not without some efibrt, a smart reprimand on the 
last speaker, the Colonel looked hastily at his watch, and arose from 
table. 

" Past three o'clock, and to be in Kilkenny by six." 

" Do you want a car ? There's one of Rice's men now in the vil- 
lage. Shall I get him for you ?" 

" Would you really do me the kindness ?" "While the Major 
bustled off on his errand, the Colonel withdrew the Doctor inside 
the recess of a window. " I had a word I wished to say to you in 
private, Doctor Dill ; but it must really be in private — you under- 
stand me ?" 

" Strictly confidential, Colonel Hunter," said Dill, bowing. 

" It is this : a young officer of mine. Lieutenant Conyers, has 
■written to me a letter mentioning a plan he had conceived for the 
future advancement of your son, a young gentleman for whom, it 
would appear, he had formed a sudden but strong attachment. His 
project was, as I understand it, to accredit hitn to his father with such 
a letter as must secure the Greneral's powerful influence in his behalf. 
Just the sort of thing a warm-hearted young fellow would think of 
doing for a friend he determined to serve, but exactly the kind of 
proceeding that might have a very unfortunate ending. I can very 
well imagine, from my own short experience here, that your son's 
claims to notice and distinction may be the very highest ; I can 
believe readily what very little extraneous aid he would i-equire to 
secure his success, but you and I are old men of the world, and are 
bound to look at things cautiously, and to ask, ' Is this scheme a 
very safe one ?' ' "Will General Conyers enter as heartily into it as 
his son?' ' Will the young surgeon be as sure to captivate the old 
soldier as the young one ?' In a word, would it be quite wise to set 
a man's whole venture in life on such a cast, and is it the sort of risk 
that, with your experience of the world, you would sanction ?" 

It was evident, from the pause the Colonel left after these words, 
that he expected Dill to say something ; but, with the sage reserve 
of his order, the Doctor stood still, and never uttered a syllable. Let 



170 i;au:;::iGto>'. 

\is be just to lus acuteness, he Bevcr did take to the project from the 
first ; he thought ill of it, in every way, but yet he did not relinquish 
the idea of making the surrender of it " conditional," and so he 
slowly shook his head with an air of doubt, and smoothly rolled his 
hands one over the other, as though to imply a moment of hesitation 
and indecision. 

" Tes, yes," muttered he, talking only to himself — " disappoint- 
ment, to be sure ! — very great disappointment, too ! And his heart 
so set upon it, that's the hardship." 

" Naturally enough," broke in Hunter, hastily. " Who wouldn't 
be disappointed under such circumstances ? Better even that, how- 
ever, than utter failure, later on." 

The Doctor sighed, but over what precise calamity was not so 
clear, and Hunter continued : 

" jS^ow, as I have made this communication to you in strictest con- 
fidence, and not in any concert with Conyers, I only ask you to 
accept my view as a mere matter of opinion. I think you would be 
wroDg to suffer your son to engage in such a venture. That's all I 
mean by my interference, and I have done." 

Dill was, perhaps, scarcely prepared for the sudden summing up of 
the Colonel, and looked strangely puzzled and embarrassed. 

" Might I talk the matter over with my daughter Polly ? She has 
a good head for one so little A'ersed in the world." 

" By all means. It is exactly what I would have proposed. Or, 
better still, shall I rej)eat what I have just told you ?" 

" Do so," said the Doctor, "for I just remember Miss Barrington 
will call here in a few moments for that medicine I have ordered for 
her brother, and which is not yet made up." 

" Give me five minutes of your time and attention, Miss Dill," said 
Hunter, "on a point for which your father has referred me to your 
counsel." 

"To miner" 

" Yes," said he, smiling at her astonishment. "We Avant your 
quick faculties to come to the aid of ovir slow ones. And here's the 
case." And in a i'ew sentences ho put the matter before her, as he 
had done to her father. AVhile he thus talked, they had strolled out 
into the garden, and walked slowly side by side down one of the 
alleys. 

" Poor Tom I — poor fellow !" was all that Polly said, as she listened. 
But once or twice her handkerchief was raised to her eyes, and her 
chest heaved hcnvilv. 



BAEEINOTON. 171 

" I am heartily sorry for liim — that is, if his heart be bent on it — 
if lie really should have built upon the scheme already." 

" Of course he has, Sir. You dou't suppose that in such lives as 
ours these are common incidents ? If we chance upon a treasure, 
or fancy that we have, once in a whole existence, it is great fortune." 

" It was a brief, a very brief acquaintance — a few hours, 1 believe, 
The What was that ? Did you hear any one cough, there ?" 

" ISTo, Sir ; we are quite alone. There is no one in the garden 
but ourselves." 

" So that, as I was saying, the project could scarcely have taken a 
very deep root, and — and — in fact, better the first annoyance, than a 
mistake that should give its colour to a whole lifetime. I'm cei'taiu 
I heard a step in that walk yonder." 

" No, Sir ; we are all alone." 

" I half wish I had never come on this same errand. I have done 
an ungracious thing, evidently very ill, and with the usual fate of 
those who say disagreeable things. I am involved in the disgrace I 
came to avert." 

" But I accept your view." 

" There ! I knew there was some one there !" said Hunter, spring- 
ing across a bed and coming suddenly to the side of M'Cormick, who 
Avas affecting to be making a nosefray. 

"The car is ready at the door, Colonel," said he, in some coii- 
fusion. " Maybe you'd oblige me with a seat as far as Lyrath ?" 

" Yes, yes ; of course. And how late it is," cried he, looking at 
his watch. " Time does fly fast in these regions, no doubt of it." 

"You see, Miss Polly, you have made the Colonel forget himself," 
said M'Cormick, maliciously, 

" Don't be severe on an error so often your own, Major M'Cormick," 
said she, fiercely, and turned away into the house. 

The Colonel, however, was speedily at her side, and in an earnest 
voice said, " I could hate myself for the impression I am leaving 
behind me here. I came with those excellent intentions which so 
often make a man odious, and I am going away with those regrets 
which follow all failures ; but I mean to come back again one of these 
days, and erase, if I can, the ill impression." 

" One who has come out of his way to befriend those who had no 
claim upon his kindness, can have no fear for tlic estimation he will 
be held in ; for my part, I thank you heartily, even though I do not 
exactly see tlio direct road out of this difficulty." 

" Let me v.iite to vou. One letter — onlv one," said Hunter. 



172 BAllUINOTO'. 

Bat M'Cormick liad lieard tlie request, and she flushed up with 
auger at the malicious glee his lace exhibited. 

" Tou'll have to say my good-bys lor me to your father, for I am 
sorely pressed for time; aud, even as it is, shall be late for my ap- 
pointment in Kilkenny." And before Polly could do more than 
exchange his cordial shako hands, he was gone. 



CHAPTER XXI. 



DARK TIDINGS. 



If I am not wholly without self-reproach when I bring my reader 
into uncongenial company, and make him pass time with Major 
M'Cormick he had far rather bestow upon a pleasauter companion, 
I am sustained by the fact — unpalatable fact though it be — that the 
highway of life is not always smooth, nor its banks flower}^ and that, 
as an old Derry woman once remarked to me, " It takes a' kind o' 
folk to mak' a world." 

i^ow, although Colouel Hunter did drive twelve weary miles of 
road with the Major for a fellow-traveller — thanks to that unsocial 
convenieney called an Irish jaunting-car — they rode back to back, 
and conversed but little. One might actually believe that unpopular 
men grow to feel a sort of liking for their unpopularit}', and become 
at length delighted with the snubbings they meet with, as tliough an 
evidence of the amount of that discomfort they can scatter over the 
world at large; just, in fact, as a wasp or a scorpion might have a 
sort of triumphant joy in the consciousness of its power for mischief, 
and exult in the tei-ror caused by its vicinity. 

" Splendid road — one of the best I ever travelled on," said the 
Colouel, after about ten miles, during which he smoked on without 
a word. 

"Why wouldn't it be, when they can assess the county for it? 
They're on the Grand Jury, and high up, all about here," croaked out 
the jMajor. 

" It is a fine country, and abounds in handsome places." 

"And well mortgaged, too, the most of them." 

" You'd not see better farming tliau that in jS'orfolk, cleaner wlieat, 
or neater drills; in fact, one might imagine himself in England." 



BAltUINGTON. 173 

" So he might, for the matter of taxes. I don't see much dif- 
ference." 

" "Why don't you smoke ? Things look pleasanter through the 
blue haze of a good Havannah," said Hunter, smiling. 

" I don't want them to look pleasanter than they are," was the dry 
rejoinder. 

Whetlier Hunter did, or did not, he scarcely liked his counsellor, 
and, re-lighting a cigar, he turned his back once more on him. 

" I'm one of those old-fashioned fellows," continued the Major, 
leaning over towards his companion, " who would rather see tilings as 
they are, not as they might be ; and when I remarked you a while 
ago so pleased with the elegant luncheon and Miss Polly's talents for 
housekeeping, I was laughing to myself over it all." 

" How do you mean ? What did you laugh at ?" said Hunter, 
half fiercely. 

" Just at the way you were taken in, that's all." 

" Taken in ? — taken in ? A very strange expi'ession for an hospitable 
reception and a most agreeable visit." 

"Well, it's the very word for it, after all; for as to the hospitable 
reception, it wasn't meant for us, but for that tall Captain — the 
dark-complexioned fellow — Staples, I think they call him." 

" Captain Stapylton ?" 

" Yes, that's the man. He ordered Healey's car to take him over 
here ; and I knew when the Dills sent over to Mrs. Brierley for a 
loan of the two cut decanters and the silver cruet-stand, something 
was up ; and so I strolled down, by way of to reconnoitre the pre- 
mises, and see what old Dill was after." 

" Well, and then ?" 

" Ju^st that I saw it all — the elegant luncheon, and the two bottles 
of wine, and the ginger cordials, all laid out for the man that never 
came ; for it would seem he changed his mind about it, and went back 
to head-quarters." 

'• Tou puzzle me more and more at every word. What change of 
mind do you allude to ? What purpose do you infer he had in coming 
over here to-day ?" 

The only answer M'Cormick vouchsafed to this was by closing one 
eye and putting his finger significantly to the tip of his nose, while 
he said, " Catch a weasel asleep !" 

"I more than suspect," said Hunter, sternly, "that this half-pay 
life works badly for a man's habits, and tlirows him upon very petty 
and contemptible modes of getting through his time. What possible 



I'li UAUniNGTOX. 

business could it be of yours to inquire why Stapyltou came, or did 
not come here to-day, no more than for the reason of mi/ visit ?" 

" Maybe I could guess that too, if I was hard pushed," said M'Cor- 
inick, whose tone showed no unusual irritation from the late rebuke. 
'' I was in the garden all the time, and heard everything." 

"Listened to what I was saying to Miss Dill!" cried Hunter, 
whose voice of indignation could not now be mistaken. 

"Every word of it," replied the unabashed Major. "I heard all 
you said about a short acquaintance — a few hours you called it — but 
that your heart was bent upon it, all the same. And then you went 
-on about India; what an elegant place it was, and the fine pay and 
the great allowances. And ready enough she was to believe it all, 
for I suppose she was sworn at Highgate, and wouldn't take the 
Captain if she could get the Colonel." 

By this time, and not an instant earlier, it flashed upon Hunter's 
mind that M'Cormick imagined he had overheard a proposal of mar- 
riage, and so amused was he by the blunder, that he totally drowned 
his anger in a hearty burst of laughter. 

" I hope that, as an old brother-officer, you'll be discreet, at ail 
events," said he, at last. " You have not come hj the secret quite 
legitimately, and I trust you will preserve it." 

" My hearing is good, and my eyesight too, and I mean to use them 
both, as long as they're spared to me." 

"It was your tongue that I referred to," said Hunter, more 
gL-avely. 

'•' Ay, I know it was," said the Major, crankily. " My tongue will 
take care of itself also." 

" In order to make its task the easier, then," said Hunter, speaking 
in a slow and serious voice, " let me tell you that your eavesdropping 
has, for once at least, misled you. I made no proposal, such as you 
suspected, to Miss Dill. jSTor did she give me the slightest encourage- 
ment to do so. The conversation you so unwarrantably and imper- 
fectly overheard had a totally different object, and I am not at all 
sorry you should not have guessed it. So much for the past. Now 
one word for the futui'e. Omit my name, and all that concerns me, 
from the narrative with which you auuise your friends, or take my 
word for it, you'll have to record more than you have any fancy 
for. This is strictly between ourselves ; but if you have a desire to 
impart it, bear in mind that I shall be at my quarters in Kilkenny till 
Tuesday next." 

"You may spend your life there for anything I care," said the 
Major. " Stop, Billy ; pull up. I'll get down here." And shuffling 




T(a/^7 jc//'<r//i^- 



/i^ace. 



JiAEJllNOTOX. 175 

ofi' the car, he muttered a " Good-day" without turning his head; 
and beut his steps towards a narrow lane that led from the higli 
road. 

"Is this the place they call Lyrath ?" asked the Colonel of the 
driver. 

" No, your honour. We're a good four miles from it yet." 

The answer showed Hunter tliat his fellow-traveller had departed 
in anger, and sucli was the generosity of his nature, he found it hard 
not to overtake him and make his peace with liim. 

" After all," thought he, " he's a crusty old fellow, and has hugged 
his ill-temper so long, it may be more congenial to him now than a 
pleasanter humour." And he turned his mind to other interests that 
more closely touched him. 'Nor was he without cares — heavier ones, 
too, than his happy nature had ever yet been called to deal with. 
There are few more painful situations in life than to find our advance- 
ment — the long-wished and strived-for promotion — achieved at the 
cost of some dearly-loved friend ; to know that our road to fortune 
had led us across the fallen figure of an old comrade, and that he who 
would have been the first to hail our success is already bewailing his 
own defeat. This was Hunter's lot at the present moment. He had 
been sent for to hear of a marvellous piece of good fortune. His 
name and character, well known in India, had recommended him for 
an office of high trust — the Political Resident of a great native court ; 
a position not alone of power and influence, but as certain to secure, 
and within a very few years, a considerable fortune. It was the 
Governor- General who had made choice of him, and the Prince of 
Wales, in the brief interview he accorded him, was delighted with his 
frank and soldier-like manner, his natural cheerfulness and high spirit. 
" We're not going to unfrock you. Hunter," said he, gaily, in dis- 
missing him. " Tou shall have your military rank, and all the steps 
of your promotion. We onlj^ make you a civilian till you have saved 
some lacs of rupees, which is what I hear your predecessor has for- 
gotten to do." 

It was some time before Hunter, overjoyed as he was, even be- 
thought him of asking who that predecessor was. What was his 
misery when he heard the name of Ormsby Conyers, his oldest, best 
friend ; the man at whose table he had sat for years, whose confidence 
he had shai'ed, whose heart was open to him to its last secret ! " No," 
said he, " this is impossible. Advancement at such a price has no 
temptation for me. I will not accept it." He wrote his refusal at 
once, not assigning any definite reasons, hut declaring that, after 
much thought and consideration, he had decided the post was one h^ 



17G IlAURINGTOJs'. 

could not accept of. The Secretary, in whose province the affairs of 
India lay, sent for him, and, after much pressing and some ingenious 
cross-questioning, got at liis reasons. "These may be all reasonable 
scruples on your part," said he, " but they will avail your friend 
nothing. Conyers must go ; for his own interest and character's sake 
he must come home and meet the charges made against him, and 
which, from their very contradictions, we all hope to see him treat 
triumphantly : some alleging that he has amassed untold wealth, 
others that it is, as a ruined man, he has involved himself in the 
intrigues of tlie native rulers. All who know him say, that at the 
first whisper of a charge against him he will tlirow up his post and 
come to England to meet his accusers. And now let me own to you, 
that it is the friendship in which he held you lay one of the sug- 
gestions for your choice. We all felt, that if a man ill-disposed or 
ungenerously-minded to Conyers should go out to Agra, numerous 
petty and vexatious accusations might be forthcoming; the little 
local injuries and pressure, so sure to beget grudges, would all rise 
up as charges, and enemies to the fallen man spring up in every 
quarter. It is as a successor, then, you can best serve your friend." 
I need not dwell on the force and ingenuity with which this view was 
presented ; enough that I say it was successful, and Hunter returned 
to Ireland to take leave of his regiment, and prepare for a speedy 
departure to India. 

Having heard, in a brief note from young Conyers, his intentions 
respecting Tom Dill, Hunter had hastened off to prevent the possi- 
bility of such a scheme being carried out. Not wishing, however, to 
divulge the circumstances of his friend's fortune, he had in his inter- 
view with the Doctor confined himself to arguments on the score of 
prudence. His next charge was to break to Fred the tidings of his 
father's troubles, and it was an office he shrunk from with a coward's 
fear. With every mile he went his heart grew heavier. The more he 
thought over the matter the more difficult it appeared. To treat the 
case lightly, might savour of hoartlessness and levity ; to appi-oach it 
more seriously, might seem a needless severity. Perliaps, too, Conyers 
might have written to his sou ; he almost hoped he had, and that the 
first news of disaster should not come from him. 

That combination of high-hcartedness and baslifulness, a blended 
temerity and timidity — by no means an uncommon temperament — 
renders a man's position in the embarrassments of life one of down- 
right suffering. There are operators who feel the knife more sensi- 
tively than the patients. Tew know what torments such men conceal 
und(H' a manner of seeming slap-dash and carelessness. Hunter was 



BAIlllINGTON. 3/7 

of this order, and would, any day of his life, far rather have con- 
fronted a real peril than met a contingency that demanded sucli an 
address. It was, then, with a sense of relief he learned, on arrival at 
the barracks, that Conyers liad gone out for a walk, so that there was 
a reprieve at least of a few houi's of the penalty that overhung him. 

The trumpet-call for the mess had just sounded as Conyers gained 
the door of the Colonel's quarters, and Hunter taking Fred's arm, 
they crossed the barrack-square together. 

" I liave a great deal to sa}' to you, Conyers," said he, luirriedly ; 
"part of it unpleasant — none of it, indeed, very gratifying " , 

" I know you are going to leave us, Sir," said Fred, who perceived 
the more than common emotion of the other's manner. " And for 
myself, I own I have no longer any desire to remain in the regiment. 
I might go further, and say, no more zest for the service. It was 
tlirougli your friendship for me I learned to curb many and many 
promptings to resistance, and when t/ou go " 

" I am very sorry — very, very sorry to leave you all," said Hunter, 
with a broken voice. " It is not every man that proudly can point to 
i'even-and-twenty years' service in a regiment witliout one incident to 
break the hearty cordiality that bound us. "We had no bickerings, no 
petty jealousies- amongst us. If a man joined us who wanted par- 
tisanship and a set, he soon found it better to exchange. I never ex- 
pect again to lead the happy life I have had here, and I'd rather have 
led our bold squadrons in the field than have been a General of Divi- 
sion." "Who could have believed that he, whose eyes ran over as he 
spoke tliese broken words, was, five minutes after, the gay and rattling 
Colonel his officers always saw him, full of life, spirit, and animation, 
jocularly alluding to his speedy departure, and gaily speculating on 
the comparisons that would be formed between himself and his suc- 
cessor ? "I'm leaving him the horses in good condition," said he; 
" and when Hargrave learns to give the word of command above a 
whisper, and Eyreton can ride without a backboard, he'll scarcely 
report you for inefliciency." It is fair to add, that the first-mentioned 
officer had a voice like a bassoon, and the second was the beau-ideal 
of dragoon horsemanship. 

It would not have consisted with military etiquette to have asked 
the Colonel the nature of his promotion, nor as to what new sphere 
of service he was called. Even the old Major, his contemporary, dared 
not have come directly to the question ; and while all were eager to 
hear it, the utmost approach was by an insinuation or an innuendo. 
Hunter was known for no quality more remarkably than for his out- 
spoken frankuess, and some surprise was felt that in his returning 

If 



178 BARIUNGTON. 

ihanks for liis lioaltli being drank, not a word sliuuld escape him oa 
this point: but tlie anxiety was not lessened by the last words he 
spoke, '• It may be, it is more than likely, I shall never see the 
regiment again; but the sight of a hussar jacket or a scarlet busby 
will bring you all back to my memory, and you may rely on it that 
whether around the mess-table or the bivouac lire my heart will be 
with you." 

Scarcely had the cliccr that greeted the words subsided, when a 
deep voice from the extreme end of the table said, 

" If oulv a new comer in the regiment, Colonel Hunter, I am. too 
proud of my good fortune not to associate myself w ith the feelings of 
my comrades, and, while partaking of their deep regrets, I feel it a 
duty to contribute, if in my power, by whatever may lighten the grief 
of our loss. Am I at liberty to do so ? Have I your free permission, 
I mean ?" 

"I am iairly puzzled by your question, Captain 8tapykon. I have 
not the very vaguest clue to your meaning, but, of course, you have 
my permission to mention whatever you deem proper." 

" It is a toast I w^ould propose, Sir." 

" By all means. Th thing is not very regular, perhaps, but we are 
not exactly remarkable for regularity this evening. Pill, gentlemen, 
for Captain Stapylton's toast !" 

"Tew words will propose it," said Stapylton. "Wc liave just 
drank Colonel Hunter's health with uU the enthusiasm that beilts the 
toast, but ill doing so our tribute has been paid to the past ; of the 
present and of the future we have taken no note whatever, and it is 
to these I would now reeal you. I say, therefore, bumpers to the 
health, happiness, and success of jMajor-General Hunter, Political 
Resident and i>Iini3ter at the Court of Agra !" 

" No, no!" cried young Conyers, loudly, " this is a mistake. It is 
my father — it is Lieutenant-General Conyers — who resides at Agra. 
Am I not right. Sir!" cried he, turning to the Colonel. 

But Hunter's face, pale as death even to the lips, and the agitation 
with which he grasped Pred's hand, so overcame the youth, that with 
;i sudden cry he sprang from his seat, and rushed out of the room. 
Hunter as quickly followed him; and now all were grouped around 
Stapylton, eagerly questioning and inquiring what his tidings might 
mean. 

"The old story, gentlemen — the old storv, with which we are all 
7norc or less familiar in this best of all possible worlds : General 
Hunter goes out in honour, and General Conyers comes home in — 
well, under a cloud — of course one that he is sure aiul certain to dit-pcl 



EAURlKOrOX. 170 

T conclude the Coloiit'l would rather have had his ndvaiicement under 
other circumstances, but in tliis game of leap-frog, tliat we call lile, 
wo must occasionally jump over our friends as well as our enemies." 

" How and where did you get the news ?" 

" It came to me from town. I heard it this morning, and of course 
T imagined that tlie Colonel had told it to Conyers, whom it so inti- 
mately concerned. I hope I may not have been indiscreet in what I 
meant as a compliment." 

jN'one cared to offer their consolings to one so fully capable of sup- 
plying the commodity to himself, and the party broke up in twos or 
threes, moodily seeking their own quarters, and brooding gloomily 
over what they had just witnessed. 



CHAPTER XXII. 



LEAVING nojii: 



I WILL ask my reader now to turn for a brief space to the 
"Fisherman's Home," Avhich is a scene of somewhat unusual bustle. 
The Barringtons are preparing for a journey, and old Peter's ward- 
robe has been displayed for inspection along a hedge of sweetbriar 
in the garden — an arrangement devised by the genius of Darby, who 
passes up and down, with an expression of admiration on his face, the 
sincerity of which could not be questioned. A more reflective mind 
than his might have been carried away, at the sight, to thoughts of 
the strange passages in the late history of Ireland, so curiously 
typified in that motley display. There, was the bright green dress- 
coat of Daly's club, recalling days of political excitement, and all the 
plottings and cabals of a once famous opposition. There, was in some- 
what faded splendour it must be owned, a court suit of the Duke 
of Portland's day, when Irish gentlemen were as gorgeous as the 
courtiers of Versailles. Here, came a grand colonel's uniform, when 
Parrington commanded a regiment of Volunteers ; and yonder lay a 
i'riar's frock and cowl, relics of those " attic nights" with the Monks 
of the Screw, and recalling memories of Avonmore and Curran, and 
Day and Parsons ; and with them were mixed hunting-coats, and 
shooting-jackets, and masonic robes, and " friendly brother" emblems, 
aiid long-waisted garments, and swallow-tailed aftectations of all 
shades and tints — reminders of a time when Buck AVhalley was the 

N 2 



ISO BAKKIXLiTOX. 

eccentric, and Lord Llandall'tlie beau of Iiijili society. I am not cer- 
tain that Moninouth-street would have endorsed Darby's seiitiiuent 
as he said, " There was clothes there for a king on bis throne !" but 
it was an honestly uttered speech, and came out of the Aduess of an 
admiring heart, and altliough in trutli he was nothing less tliau au 
iiistorian, be was forcibly struck by the tbougbt that Ireland must 
liave been a grand country to live in, in tliose old days, when men 
went about their ordinary avocations iu sucb spleiulour as he saw 
there. 

Nor was Peter Barrington bimself an unmoved spectator of these 
old remnants of tbe past. Old garments, like old letters, bring 
oftentimes very forcible memories of a long ago; and as be turned 
over the purple-stained flap of a waistcoat, he bethought him of a 
night at Daly's, when, in returning thanks for his bealth,his sbaking 
band had spilled that identical glass of Burgundy ; ami in the dun- 
coloured tinge of a hunting-coat he remembered the day he had 
plunged into the Nore at Corrig O'Neal, himself and the huntsu-.an, 
alone of all the field, to follow tbe dogs ! 

" Take them away. Darby, take them away ; they only set me a 
tbinking about tbe pleasant companions of my early life. It v.as in 
that suit there I moved tbe amendment in '82, when Henry Grattan 
crossed over and said, 'Barrington will lead ns bere, as be does iu 
the bunting-field.' Do you see that peach-coloured waistcoat ? It 
was Lady Caher embroidered every sticb of it, with her own bands, 
j'ur me." 

" Them's elegant black satin breecbes," said Darby, wbose eyes of 
covetousness were actually rootetl on the object of his desire. 

" I never wore them," said Barrington, with a sigh. " I got tbem 
or a duel with IMat Fortescue, but Sir Toby Blake shot him that 
morning. Poor Mat !" 

" And I suppose you'll never wear tbem now. You couldn't bear 
the sight tlien," said Darby, insinuatingly. 

''Most likely not," said Barrington, as be turned away with a 
heavy sigh. Darby sigbcd also, but not precisely in tbe same spirit. 

Let me passingly remai'k that the total nnsuitability to ins con- 
dition of any object seems rather to enhance its virtue in the eyes of 
a lower Irishman, and a hat or a coat which be could not, by any 
])OSsibillty, wear iu public, might still be to him things to covet and 
desire. 

" A\'^hat is the meaning of all tliis rag fair?" cried ^liss Barrinii;- 
ton, as she suddenlv came m fmut of the exposed wardrobe. " You 




._.yMai^/^^^.y&<^'/l^^^^e/^'' ^^&^^ u-ui!xy^uz^ 



HAHIUXQTOxV. 181 

firo not surely making any selections Ironi llicsc tawdry absurdities, 
brother, for your journey h" 

" Well, indeed," said Barrington, with a droll twinkle of bis eye, 
"it was a point tliat Darby aud I were discussing as you came up. 
Darhy ()[)ines that to make a suitable impression upon the Continent, 
I must not despise tbe assistance of dress, and be inclines much to 
tliat Corbeau coat with tbe cherry-coloured liuing." 

•• If Darby's an ass, brother, I don't imagine it is a good reason to 
consult bim," said sbe, angrily. " Put all that trasb wbere you found 
it. Lay out your master's black clothes and tbe grey sbooting-coat, 
see that bis strong boots are in good repair, and get a serviceable lock 
on that valise." 

It was little sbort of magic tbe spell of tbese few and distinctly- 
uttered words seemed to work on Darby, who at once descended froin. 
a realm of speculation and scheming to tbe common-place world of 
duty and obedience. 

" I really wonder bow^ you let yourself be imposed on, brotber, by 
tbe assumed simplicity of that sbrewd fellow." 

"I like it, Dinah. I positively like it," said be, with a smile. " I 
watch bim playing his game with a pleasure almost as great as bis 
own, and as I know that the stakes are small, I'm never vexed at his 
winning." 

" But you seem to forget tbe encouragement this nnpunity sug- 
gests." 

" Perhaps it does, Dinah ; and very likely his little rogueries are 
as much triumphs to bim as are all the great political intrigues the 
glories of some grand statesman." 

"Which means that you rather like to be cheated," said she, 
scofRngly. 

" When the loss is a mere trifle, I don't always think it ill laid 
out." 

" And I," said sbe, resolutely, " so far from participating in your 
sentiment, feel it to be an insult and an outrage. There is a sense of 
inferiority attached to the position of a dupe that would drive me to 
any reprisals." 

"I always said it; I always said it," cried be, laughing. "The 
women of our family monopolised all the combativeness." 

Miss Barrington's eyes sparkled, and her cheek glowed, and she 
looked like one stung to the point of a very angry rejoinder, when by 
an effort she controlled her passion, and taking a letter from lier 
})ocket, she opened it, and said, " This is from Withering. He baa 



]S2 iJAKUlN'GTOy. 

maiifiged to obtain all the information we need for our journey. We 
are to sail for Osteud by the regular packet, two of which go every 
week from Dover. From thence there are stages, or canal boats, to 
Bi'uges and ]>rnsse]s, cheap and commodious, he says. He gives us 
the names of two hotels, one of which — the " Lamb," at Brussels — 
he recommends highly ; and the Pension of a certain Madame 
Ochteroogen, at Naraur, will, he opines, suit us better than an inn. 
In fact, this letter is a little road book, with the expenses marked 
down, and we can quietly count the cost of our venture before we 
make it." 

" I'd rather not, Dinah. The very thought of a limit is torture to 
me. Give me bread and water every day, if you like, but don't rob 
me of the notion that so;ue fine day I'm to be r(\galed with beef and 
pudding." 

'• I don't wonder that we have come to beggary," said she, pas- 
sionately. " I don't know what fortune and what wealth could com- 
pensate for a temperament like yours." 

" Tou may be right, Dinah. It may go far to make a man squander 
his substance, but take my word for it, it will help him to bear up 
under the loss." 

If Barrington could have seen the gleam of afiection that fdled his 
sister's eyes, he would have felt what love her heart bore him, but 
he had stooped down to take a caterpillar otY a flower, and did not 
mark it. 

" Withering lias seen young Conyers," she continued, as her eyes 
ran over the letter. "He called upon him." Barrington made no 
rejoinder, though she waited for one. " The poor lad was in great 
affliction; some distressing news from India — of what kind AVither- 
ing could not guess — had just reached him, and he appeared over- 
whelmed by it." 

"He is very young for sorrow," said Barrington, feelingly. 

"Just what AVithering said." And she read out, " ' A\''lien I told 
him that I had come to make an amende for the reception lie had met 
with at the cottage, he stopped me at once, and said, " Great griefs 
are the cure of small ones, and you find me under a very heavy afflic- 
tion. Tell Miss Barrington that I have no other memories of the 
' Fisherman's Home' than of all her kindness towards me." ' " 

"Poor boy!" said Barrington, with emotion. "And how did 
Withering leave him r" 

"Still sad and suilering. Stru2;gling, too. Withering thought, 
between a proud attempt to conceal liis grief, and an ardent impulse 
to tell all about it. ' Had you been there,' he writes, 'you'd have had 



BAREIXGTOX. 1S3 

the mIioIc storv, but I saw that he couldn't stoop to open bis heart to 
a man.' " 

" AVrito to him, Dinah. AVrlte and ask liim down liere for a couple 
of daj's." 

"Ton forget that we are to leave this tlie day after to-morrow, 
brotlier." 

"So I did. I forgot it completely. Well, wliat if ho were to 
come fur one day ? AVhat if you were to say, ' Come over and wish us 
good-by ?' " 

"It is so liiie a man and a man's selfishness never to consider 
a domestic dilliculty," said she, tartly. " So long as a house has a 
roof over it, you iancy it may bo available for h.ospitalities. You never 
take into account the carpets that are taken up and the beds that are 
taken down, the plate-chest that is packed, and the cellar that is 
walled up. You forget, in a word, that to make that life you find 
so very easy, some one else must pass an existence full of cares and 
duties." 

" There's not a doubt of it, Dinah. There's truth and reason in 
every word you've said." 

" I will write to him if you like, and say that we mean to be at 
home here by an early day in October, and that if he is disposed to 
see how our woods look in autumn, we will be well pleased to have 
him for our guest." 

"!N'othing could be better. Do so, Diuah. I owe the young 
fellow a reparation, and I shall not have an easy conscience till I 
make it." 

" Ah, brother Peter, if your moneyed debts had only given you 
one-half the torment of your moral ones, what a rich man you might 
have been to- da}' !" 

Long after his sister had gone away and left him, Peter Barring- 
ton continued to muse over this speech. He felt it, felt it keenly too, 
but in no bitterness of spirit. 

Lilce most men of a lax and easy temper, he could mete out to him- 
self the same merciful measure he accorded to others, and be as for- 
giving to his own faults as to theirs. " I suppose Dinah is right, 
though," said he to himself. " I never did know that sensitive irri- 
tability under debt which ensures solvency. And whenever a man 
can laugh at a dun, he is pretty sure to be on the high road to bank- 
ruptcy ! Well, well, it is somewhat late to try and reform, but I'll 
do my best !" And, thus comforted, he set about tying up fallen rose- 
trees and removing noxious insects with all his usual zeal. 

"I half wish the place did not look in such beauty, just as I must 



1S4 BAnniNOTOX 

leave it for a while. I don't think that japoniea ever had as many 
ilowers before; and Avh;it a season for tulips ! Not to speak of tlio 
fruit. There are peaches enough to stock a market. I wonder wliat 
Dinah means to do with them ? She'll be sorely grieved to make 
them over as perquisites to Darby, and I know she'll never consent 
to having them sold. No, that is the one concession she cannot stoop 
to. Oh, liere she comes! AVhat a grand year for the wall fruit, 
Dinah !" cried he, aloud. 

"The apricots have all failed, and fully one-half of the peaches are 
wormeaten," said she, dryl}'. 

Peter sighed, as he thouglit, how she does dispel an allusion, what 
a terrible realist is this same sister ! " Still, my dear Dinah, one-lialf 
of such a crop is a goodly yield." 

" Out with it, Peter Barrington. Out with the question tliat is 
burning for utterance. "What's to be done with them ? I have thought 
of that already. I have told Polly Dill to preserve a quantity for 
us, and to take as much more as she pleases for her own use, and 
make presents to her friends of the remainder. She is to be mistress 
here while we are away, and has promised to come np two or three 
times a week, and see after everything, for I neither desire to have the 
flower-roots sold, nor the pigeons eaten before our return." 

" That is an admirable arrangement, sister. I don't know a better 
girl than Polly !" 

" She is better than I gave her credit for," said Miss Barrington, 
^^ho was not fully pleased at any praise not bestowed by herself. 
A man's estimate of a young woman's goodness is not so certain of 
finding acceptance from her own sex ! "And as for that girl, the 
wonder is that with a fool for a mother, and a crafty old knave for a 
father, she really should possess one good trait or one amiable 
quality." Barrington muttered what sounded like concurrence, and 
she went on : " And it is for this reason I have taken an interest in 
her, and hope, by occupying her mind with useful cares and filling 
her hours with commendable duties, she will estrange herself from 
that going about to line houses, and Irequenting society where she is 
exposed to innumerable humiliations, and worse." 

" "Worse, Dinah ! — what could be worse ?" 

" Temptations are worse, Peter Barrington, even when not yielded 
to ; for, like a noxious climate, which, though ife fails to kill, it is cer- 
tain to injure the constitution during a lifetime. Take my word for 
it, she'll not be the better wife to the Curate for the memory of all 
the fine speeches she once heard from the Captain. Very old and 
ascetic notions I am quite aware, Peter ; but please to bear in mind 



UAUlUXdTON. 1S5 

nil the trouble wc t:il<c that the roots of a favourite tree should not 
strike into a sour soil, and bethink you how very indifferent we are 
as to the daily associates of our children !" 

"Tliere you are right, Dinah — there you are right — at least as 
regards girls." 

"And the rule applies fully as much to boys. All those manly 
accomplishments and out-of-door habits you lay such store by, could 
be acquired without tiie intimacy of the groom or the friendship 
of the gamekeeper. AVhat are you muttering there about old maid's 
children ? Say it out, Sir, and defend it, if you have the courage !" 

But either that he had not said it, or failed in the requisite bold- 
ness to maintain it, he blundered out a very confused assurance of 
agreement on every point. 

A woman is seldom merciful in argument ; the consciousness that 
she owes victory to her violence far more than to her logic, prompts 
persistence in the course she has followed so successfully, and so was 
it that Miss Dinah contrived to gallop over the battle-field long after 
the enemy was routed! But Barrington was not in a mood to be 
vexed ; the thought of the journey filled him witli so many pleasant 
anticipations, the brightest of all being the sight of poor George's 
child! Xot that this thought had not its dark side, in contrition for 
the long, long years he had left her unnoticed and neglected. Of 
course, he had his own excuses and apologies for all this ; he could 
refer to his overwhelming embarrassments, and the heavy cares that 
surrounded him ; but then she — that poor friendless girl, that orphan 
— could have known nothing of these things, and what opinion might 
she not have formed of those relatives who had so coldly and heart- 
lessly abandoned her ! Barrington took down the miniature painted 
when she was a mere infant, and scanned it well, as though to divine 
what jiature might possess her! There was little for speculation 
there — perhaps even less for hope ! The eyes were large and lustrous, 
it is true, but the brow was heavy, and the mouth, even in infancy, 
had something that seemed like firmness and decision — strangely at 
variance with the lips of childhood. 

Xow, old Barrington's heart was deeply set on that lawsuit — that 
great cause against the Indian Government — that had formed the 
grand campaign of his life. It was his first waking thought of a 
morning, liis last at night. All his faculties were engaged in revolv- 
ing the various points of evidence, and imagining how this and that 
missing link might be supplied; and yet, with all these objects of 
tlesire before him, he would have given them up, each and all, to be 
e;ire of one thing — that his granddaughter might be handsome ! It 



ISG UAHKINaTON". 

Avas not lliat lie did not value far above the graces of person a number 
of otlier gii'ts ; be would not, for au instant, bave bcsitated, bad he 
to choose between mere beauty and a good disposition. If lie knew 
anything of liimself, it was his tliorough appreciation of a kindly 
nature — a temper to bear well — and a spirit to soar nobly ; but, some- 
how, he imagined these were gifts she was likelv onougli to possess. 
George's child would resemble him: she would have bis light-bearted- 
ness and his hapjn- nature, but would she be handsome? It is, trust 
me, no superficial view of life that attaches a great price to personal 
attractions, and Barrington was one to give these their full value- 
Had she been brought up from childhood under his roof, he had pro- 
bably long since ceased to tliink of such a point ; he would liave 
attached himself to her by the ties of that daily doinesticity wliich 
grow into a nature. The hundred little cares and offices that would 
liavc fallen to her lot to meet, would have served as liidvs to bind their 
hearts, but she was coming to tlieni a perfect stranger, and he wished 
ardently that his first impression should be all in her favour. 

Xow, while such were IJarrington's reveries, his sister took a difl'e- 
• rent turn. Slie had already pictured to herself the dark-orbed, heavy- 
browed cliild, expanded into a sallow-complexioned, heavy-featured 
girl, ungainly and unirraceful, her figure neglected, her very feet 
spoiled by the uncouth shoes of the convent, her great red hands un- 
trained to all oceu]Kition save the coarse cares of that lialf-menial 
existence. "As my brother would say," muttered she, " a most uu- 
j^ronnsing filly, if it were not for the breeding." 

Both bi'other and sister, however, kept their impressions to them- 
selves, and of all the subjects discussed between them not one word 
betrayed wliat each forecasted about Josephine. 1 am hnlf sorry it 
is no part of my task to follow them on their road, and yet I feel I 
could not impart to my reader the almost boy-like enjoyment old 
Peter felt at every stage of the journey. He had made the grand 
tour of Europe more than half a century before, and he was iu 
ecstasy to find so much that was unchanged around him. There 
were the long-eared caps, and the monstrous earrings, and the 
sabots, and the heavily-tasseled team-horses, and the chiming church 
bells, and the old-world equipages, and the strangely undersized 
soldiers — all just as he saw them last ! And every one was so polite 
and ceremonious, and so idle and so unoccupied, and the theatres 
were so large and the newspapers so small, and tlie current coin so 
defaced, and the order of the meats at dinner so inscrutable, and 
every one seeming contented just because he had nothing to do. 
"Isn't it all that 1 have told you, Dinah dear? Don't you per- 



UAnUINGTON. 187 

ceive how accurate my picture has been ? And is it not very charm- 
ing and enjoyable?" 

" They are the greatest clients I ever met in my life, brother 
Peter; and when I think that every grin that greets us is a matter 
of five francs, it mars considerably the pleasure I derive from the 
hilarity." 

It was in this spirit they journeyed till they arrived at Brussels. 



CHAPTEK XXIII. 



THE COLONEL S COUNSELS. 



When Conycrs had learned from Colonel Hunter all that he knew 
of his father's involvment, it went no further than this, that the 
Lieutonant- General had either resigned or been deprived of his civil 
appoiutmeuts, and Hunter was called upon to replace him. With all 
his habit of hasty and impetuous action, there was no injustice in 
Pred's nature, and he frankly recognised that, however painful to him 
personally, Hunter could not refuse to accede to what the Prince had 
distinctly pressed him to accept. 

Young Conyers had heard over and over again the astonishment 
expressed by old Indian officials how his father's treatment of the 
Company's orders had been so long endured. Some prescriptive 
immunity seemed to attach to him, or some great patronage to protect 
him, for he appeared to do exactly as he pleased, and the despotic 
sway of his rule was known tiir and near. With the changes in the 
constitution of the Board, some members might have succeeded less 
disposed to recognise the General's former services, or endure so 
tolerantly his present encroachments, and Pred well could estimate 
the resistance his father would oppose to the very mildest remon- 
sti-ance, and how indignantly he would reject whatever came in the 
shape of a command. Great as was the blow to the young man, it 
was not lieavier in anything than the doubt and uncertainty about it, 
and he waited with a restless impatience for his father's letter, 
which should explain it all. jN'or was his position less painful from 
the estrangement in which he lived, and the little intercourse he main- 
tained with his brother-officers. When Hunter left, he knew that he 
had not one he could call friend amongst them, and Hunter was to 



ISo BARUIN'OTON. 

go ill a very few days, and of even these lie could scarcely spare him 
more than a few chance moments! 

It w as in one of these flitting visits that Iluntcr betliought him of 
young Dill, of whom, it is only truth to confess, young Conyers had 
forgotten everything. " 1 took time by the forelock, Fred, about that 
afi'air," said he, "and I trust I have freed you from all embarrassment 
about it." 

" As how. Sir r" asked Conyers, half in pique. 

" When I missed yoii at the ' Fisherman's Home,' I set oflf to pay 
the Doctor a visit, and a very charming visit it turned out ; a better 
])igeon-pie I never ate, nor a prettier girl than the maker of it would 
I ask to meet with. We became great friends, talked of everything, 
from love at first sight to bone spavins, and found that we agreed to 
a miracle. I don't think I ever saw a girl before, who suited me so 
perfectly in all her notions. Slie gave me a hint about what they call 
' mouth-lameness' our Vet would give his eye for. Well, to come back 
to her brother — a dull dog, I take it, though I have not seen him — I 
said, 'Don't let him go to India, they've lots of clever fellows out 
there ; pack him oft' to Australia ; send him to iS^ew Zealand.' And 
when she interrupted me, ' But j'oung Mr. Conyers insisted — he would 
have it so; his father is to make Tom's fortune, and to send hiiii 
back as rich as a Begum,' I said, ' lie has fallen in love with you. Miss 
Polly, that's the fact, and lost his head altogether ; and I don't wonder 
at it, for here am I, close upon forty-eight — I might have said forty- 
nine, but no matter — close upon forty-eight, and I'm in the same 
book !' Tes, if it was the sister, vice the brother, who wanted to 
make a fortune in India, I almost think I could say, ' Come and 
share mine !' " 

" But I don't exactly understand. Am I to believe that they wish 
Tom to be oif — to refuse my offer — and that the rejection comes from 
them ?" 

" No, not exactly. I said it was a bad spec, that you had taken a 
far too sanguine view of the whole thing, and that as I was an 
old soldier, and knew more of the world — that is to say, had met a 
great many more bard rubs and disappointments — my advice was, not 
to risk it. ' Young Conyers,' said I, ' will do all that he has promised 
to the letter. You may rely upon every word that he has ever uttered. 
But bear in mind that he's only a mortal man ; he's not one of those 
heathen gods who used to make fellows invincible in a battle, or 
smuggle them off in a cloud, out of the way of demons, or duns, or 
whatever difficulties beset them. He might die, his father might die, 
any of us might die.' Yes, by Jove! there's nothing so uncertain as 



nAUlUNGTOX. 189 

life, except the Horse Guarda. ' And putting one tiling with another, 
^lisa Polly,' said ], ' tell liim to stay where he is' — open a ishop at 
home, or go to one of the colonies — Heligoland, for instance, a 
charming spot for the bathing season." 

"And she, what did she say ?" 

"May 1 be cashiered if I remember! I never do remember very 
clearly what any one says. AVliere I am much interested on my own 
side, I liave no time for the other fellow's arguments. But I know if 
.she wasn't convinced she ought to have been. I put the thing beyond 
a question, and I made her cry." 

" Made her cry !" 

" Not cry — that is, she did not blubber ; but she looked glassy 
about the lids, and turned away her head. But to be sure we were 
piuting — a rather soft bit of parting, too — and I said something about 
my coming back with a wooden leg, and she said, ' No ! have it of cork, 
tlieymake them so cleverly now.' And I was going to say something 
more, when a confounded old half-pay Major came up and interrupted 
us, and— and, in fiict, there it rests." 

" I'm not at all easy in mind as to this affair. I mean, I don't like 
how I stand in it." 

" But you stand out of it — out of it altogether ! Can't you ima- 
gine that your fiither may have quite enough cares of his own to 
occupy him without needing the embarrassment of looking after this 
bumpkin, who, for aught you know, might repay very badly all the 
interest taken in him ? If it had been the girl — if it had been 
Polly " 

" I own frankly," said Conycrs, tartly, " it did not occur to me to 
make such an offer to her P'' 

" Faith ! then. Master Fred, I was deuced near doing it — so near, 
that wlieu I came away I scarcely knew whether I had or had not 
done so." 

" Well, Sir, there is onl}- an hour's drive on a good road required 
to repair the omission." 

" That's true, Pred — that's true ; but have you never, by an acci- 
dent, chanced to come up with a stunning fence — a regular rasper — • 
that you took in a fly a few days before with the dogs, and as you 
looked at the place, have you not said, ' What on earth persuaded me 
lo ride at thatV " 

"AVhich means. Sir, that your cold-blooded reflections are against 
the project r" 

" Not exactly that, either," said he, in a sort of confusion ; "but 
when a man speculates on doing something for which the first step 



190 DAURINGTON. 

must be au cx[)lanation to tliis fellow, a. liall-apology to that — with a 
whimpering kind of entreaty uot to be judged hastily — not to be con- 
demned iniheard — not to be set down as an old fool who couldn't 
stand the fire of a pair of bright eyes, — I say, when it comes to this, 
be ought to feci that his best safeguard is his own misgiving!" 

"If I do not agree with you, Sir, it is because I incline to follow 
my own lead, aiul care very little for what the world says of it." 

"Don't believe a word of that, Pred ; it's all brag — all nonsense! 
Tiie very eifrontery with which you fancy you are braving public 
ijpinion is only Dutch courage. AVliat each of us in his heart thinks 
of himself is only the reflex of the world's estimate of him — at least, 
what he imagines it to be. Sow, for my own part, I'd ratlier ride up 
to a battery in full fire than I'd sit down atid write to my old atint 
Dorothy Hunter a formal letter announcing my approaching mar- 
riage, telling her that the lady of my choice was twenty or there- 
abouts, not to add that her family iiame was Dill ! Believe me, 
I'red, that if you want the concentrated essence of public opniion, 
you have only to do something which shall irritate and astonish tlie 
half-dozen people with whom you live in intimacy. Won't they 
remind you about the mortgages on your lands and the grey in your 
whiskers, that last loan you raised from Solomon Ilymans, and that 
front tooth you got replaced by Cartwright, though it was tlie week 
before they told you you were a miracle of order and good manage- 
ment, and actually looking younger than you did five years ago ! 
You're not minding me, I'lcd — not following me ; you're thinking 
■o? your protege, Tom Dill, and what he'll think and say of your 
desertion of him." 

" You have hit it. Sir. It was exactly what I was asking myself." 
" AYell, if nothing better offers, tell him to get himself in readiness, 
and come out with me. I cannot malce him a liajah nor even a 
Zemindar, but I'll stick him into a regimental surgeoncy, and leave 
him to iashiou out his own future. He nuist look sharp, however, and 
lose no time. The Ganrjcs is getting ready in all haste, and will be 
round at Portsmouth by the Stli, and we expect to sail on the 12th 
-or 13th at furthest." 

" I'll write to him to-day. I'll write this moment." 
" Add a word of remembrance on my part to the sister, and tell 
bumpkin to supply himself with no end of letters, recommendatory 
and laudatory, to muzzle our Medical Board at Calcutta, and lots of 
light clothiiig, and all the torturing instruments he'll need, and a 
large stock of good humour, for he'll be chaffed luimercifully all the 
voyage." And, witii these comprehensive directions, the Colonel 



UAUItlKGl'ON. 191 

concliuk'd liis counsels, and biisllcd away to look afler his ov.n per- 
sonal iiitcri'sts. 

Fred Convers was not over-pleased witli the task assigned him. 
The part he liked to fill in life, and, indeed, that which lie had usually 
perfornied, was the Benefactor and the Patron, and it was hut an iiii- 
i^raeious oflice lor him to have cut the wings and disfigure the 
plumage of his generosity. He made two, tln-ee, four attempts at 
conveying his intentions, hut with none was he satistled ; so he 
ended by sim[)ly saying, "I have something of importance to tell 
you, and which, not being altogether pleasant, it will be better to say 
than to write ; so I have to beg you will come up here at once, and 
see me." Scarcely was this letter sealed and addressed than he he- 
thought him of the awkwardness of presenting Tom to his brother-ofll- 
cers, or tlie still greater indecorum of not presenting him. " How shall 
I ask him to the mess, with the certainty of all the impertinences he 
will be exposed to? — and what pretext have I for not olfering him 
the ordinary attention shown to every stranger ?" He w-as, in tact, 
wincing under that public opinion he had only a few moments before 
declared he could allbrd to desuise. '• No," said he, " I have no right 
to expose ])oor Tom to this. I'il drive over myself to tho village, 
and if any advice or counsel be needed, he wiU be amongst those who 
can aid him." 

He ordered his servant to harness his handsome roan, a thorougu- 
bred of surpassing style and action, to the dog-cart — not over-sorry 
to astonish his friend Tom by the splendour of a turn-out that had 
won the sufFrages of Tattersall's — and prepared for his mission to 
luistioge. 

Was it with the same intention of "astonishing" Tom Hill tliat 
Conyers bestowed such unusual attention upon Ids dress ? At his 
iirst visit to the " Fisherman's Home" he had worn the homely 
shooting-jacket and felt hat, which, however comfortable and conven- 
tional, do not always redound to the advantage of the wearer, or, if 
they do, it is by something, perhaps, in the contrast presented to 
his ordinary appearance, and the impression ingeniously insinuated 
that he is one so unnnstakably a gentleman, no travesty of costume 
can elVace the stamp. 

It was in this garb Polly had seen him, and if Polly Dill had been 
a Duchess it was in some such garb she would have been accustomed 
to see her brother or her cousin some six out of every seven mornings 
.of the week ; but Polly was not a Duchess ; she was the daughter of 
a village doctor, and might, not impossibly, have acriuired a very 
(nToneous estimate of 'nis real pretensions from having beheld him 



BAUUINUION. 

thus atiirecl. It was therefore eutircly by a consideration for iier 
ignorance of the world and its ways that he determined to enlighten 
her. 

At tlie time of wliicli I am writing, tlie dress of the British army 
was a favourite study with that Prince whose taste, however ques- 
tionable, never exposed him to censure on grounds of over-simplicity 
and plainness. As the Colonel of the regiment Conyers belonged 
to, he had bestowed upon his own especial corps an unusual degree 
of splendour in equipment, and amongst other extravagances liad 
given them an almost boundless liberty of combiniug different details 
of dress. Availing himself of this privilege, our young Lieutenant 
invented a costume which, however unmilitary and irregular, was 
not deficient in becomingness. Under a plain blue jacket very 
spariiigl)'^ braided he wore the rich scarlet waistcoat, all slashed with 
gold, they had introduced at their mess. A simple foraging-cap and 
overalls, seamed with a thin gold line, made up a dress that might 
have passed for the easy costume of the barrack-yard, while in 
reality it was eminently suited to set off the wearer. 

Am I to confess that he looked at himself in the glass with very 
cousiderable satisfaction, and muttered, as lie turned away, " Yes, 
Miss Polly, this is in better style than that Quakerish <Irab livorv 
you saw me last in, and I have little doubt that you'll think so T" 

" Is this our best harness, licit" ? 

^'Yes, Sir." 

"All ri.rhti" 



BAERINGTON. 103 



CHAPTER XXI V^. 

CONTERS MAKES A MOHNING CALL. 

"When Conyers, to tlie astoiiisliinent and wonder of au admiring 
village public, drove his seventeen-hand-liigh roan into tlie market 
square of Inistioge, he learned that all of the Doctor's family were 
from home except Mrs. Dill. Indeed, he saw the respectable lady 
at a window with a book in her hand, from which not all the noise 
and clatter of liis arrival for one moment diverted her. Though not 
especially anxious to attract her attention, he was half piqued at her 
show of indifference. A dog-cart by Adams, and a thorough-bred 
like Boanerges, were, after all, worth a glance at. Little did he 
know what a competitor he had in that much-thumbed old volume, 
whose quaintly-told miseries were to her as her own sorrows. Could 
he have assembled underneath that window all the glories of a Derby 
Day, Mr. Richardson's " Clarissa" would have beaten the field. AVhile 
lie occupied himself in dexterously tapping the flies from his horse 
with the fine extremity of his whip, and thus necessitating that 
amount of impatience which made tiie spirited animal stamp and 
champ his bit, the old lady read on undisturbed. 

" Ask at what hour the Doctor will be at home, Holt," cried he, 
peevishly. 

" Not till to-morrow. Sir ; he has gone to Castle Durrow." 
■ " And Miss Dill, is she not in the house ?" 

" Xo, Sir ; she has gone down to the ' Fisherman's Home' to look 
after the garden — the family have left that place this morning." 

After a few minutes' reflection, Conyers ordered his servant to put 
up the horse at the inn, and wait for him there ; ami then engaging a 
" cot," he set out for the " Fisherman's Home." " After having come 
so far it would be absurd to go back without doing something in this 
business," thought he. " Polly, besides, is the brains carrier of these 
people. The matter would be referred to her, and why should I not 
go at once, and directly address her myself? AVith her womanly 
tact, too, she will see that for any reserve in my manner there must 
be a corresponding reason, and she'll not press me with awkward 
questions or painful inquiries, as the underbred brother might do. It 

o 



104 BAUKTNGTOK. 

will be enough wlien I intimate to lier that my ph'in is not so prac.» 
ticable as when I first projected it." He reassured himself with a 
variety of reasonings of this stamp, which had the double effect of 
couviucing his own mind and elevating Miss Polly in his estimation. 
There is a very subtle self-flattery in believing that tlie true order of 
person to deal witli us — to understand and appreciate us — is one 
possessed of considerable ability united witli the very finest sen- 
sibility. Thus dreaming and " mooning" he reached the " Fisher- 
man's Home." The air of desertion struck him even as he landed : 
and is there not some secret magic in the vicinity of life, of living 
people, which gives the soul to the dwelling-place ? Have we to more 
than cross the threshold of the forsaken house to feel its desertion ! — 
to know that our echoing step will track us along stair and corridor, 
and that through the thin streaks of light between the shutters 
phantoms of the absent will flit or hover, while the dimly-descried 
objects of the room will bring memories of bright mornings and of 
happy eves ? It is strange to measure the sadness of this efi'ect upon 
us when caused even by the aspect of houses which we frequented 
not as friends but mere visitors ; just as the sight of death thrills us, 
even though we had not loved the departed in his lifetime. But so it 
is: there is unutterable bitterness attached to the past, and there is 
no such sorrow as over the bygone ! 

All about the little cottage was silent and desolate ; even the shrill 
peacoclc, so wont to announce the coming stranger with his cry, sat 
voiceless and brooding on a branch ; and except the dull flow of the 
river not a sound was heard. After tapping liglitly at the door 
and peering through the partially-closed shutters, Conyers turned 
towards the garden at the back, passing as he went his favourite seat 
under the great sycamore-tree. It was not a widely separated "long 
ago" since he had sat there, and yet how difterent had life become to 
him in the interval ! With what a protective air he had talked to 
poor Tom on that spot — how princely were the promises of his 
patronage, yet not exaggerated beyond his conscious power of per- 
formance ! He hurried on, and came to the little wicket of th 
garden ; it was open, and he passed in. A spade in some fresh, 
turned earth showed wliere some one had recently been at work, but 
still, as he went, he could find none. Alley after alley did he traverse, 
but to no purpose ; and at last, in his ramblings, he came to a little 
copse w'hich separated tlie main garden from a small flower-plat^ 
known as Miss Dinah's, and on which the windows of her own little 
sitting-room opened. He had but seen this spot from tlie windows, 
and never entered it ; indeed, it was a sort of sacred enclosure, within 



SAEUTNGTON. 195 

which the profane step of man was not often permitted to intrude. 
Nor was Conyers without ii sting of self-reproach as he now passed 
in. He had not gone many steps when the reason of the seclusion 
seemed revealed to him. It was a small ohelisk of wliite marble 
under a large willow-tree, bearing for inscription on its side, " To tlie 
Memory of George Barrington, the True-hearted, the Truthful, and 
the Brave, killed on the 19th Februarv, 18—, at Agra, in the East 
Indies." 

How strange that ho should be standing there beside the tomb of 
his father's dearest friend, his more than brother ! That George who 
shared his joys and perils, the comrade of his heart ! No two men 
had ever lived in closer bonds of affection, and yet somehow of all 
that love he had never heard his father speak, nor of the terrible 
fate that befel his friend had one syllable escaped him. " Who 
knows if friendships ever survive early manhood ?" said Ered, bit- 
terly, as he sat himself down at the base of the monument ; " and 
yet might not this same George Barrington, had he lived, been of 
priceless value to my father now ? Is it not some such manly affec- 
tion, sucli generous devotion as his, that he may stand in need of?" 
Thus thinking, his imagination led him over the wide sea to that far 
distant laud of his childhood, and scenes of vast arid plains and far- 
away mountains, and wild ghauts, and barren-looking nullahs, inter- 
sected with yellow, sluggish streams, on whose muddy shores the 
alligator basked, rose before him, contrasted with the gorgeous splen- 
dours of retinue and tlie glittering host of gold-adorned followers. 
It was in a vision of grand but dreary despotism, power almost 
limitless, but without one ray of enjoyment, that he lost himself and 
let the hours glide by. At length, as though dreamily, he thought 
he was listening to some faint but deliciovis music ; sounds seemed 
to come floating towards him through the leaves, as if meant to steep 
him in a continued languor, and imparted a strange half fear that he 
was under a spell. With an efibrt he ai'oused himself and sprang to 
his legs, and now he could plainly perceive that the sounds came 
through an open Avindow, where a low but exquisitely sweet voice 
was singing to the accompaniment of a piano. The melody was sad 
and plaintive, the very words came dropping slowly, like the drops of 
a distilled grief, and they sank into his heart with a feeling of actual 
poignancy, for they were as though steeped in sorrow. When of a 
sudden the singer ceased, the hands ran boldly, almost wildly, over 
the keys ; one, two, three great massive chords were struck, and 
then, in a strain joyous as the skylark, the clear voice carolled forth 
with — 

o2 



I9G BAEEINGTOX. 

*' But why should we mourn for the grief of the morrow? 
Who knows in wh;it frame it may find us? 
Meeker, ])erhaps, to hend under our sorrow, 
Or more boldly to fling it beliind us." 

And then, with a loud bang, the piano was closed, and Polly Dili, 
swinging lier garden-hat by its ribbon, bounded forth into the walk, 
calling for her terrier, Scratch, to follow. 

" Mr. Conyers here!" cried she, in astonishment. " AVhat miracle 
could have led you to this spot ?" 
"To meet you." 
" To meet me !" 

" "With no other object. I came from Kilkenny this morning ex- 
pressly to see you, and learning at your house that you had come on 

here, I followed. Tou still look astonished — incredulous " 

" Oh no; not incredulous, but very much astonished. I an), it is 
true, sufficiently accustomed to find myself in request in my own 
narrow home circle, but that any one out of it should come three 
yards — not to say three miles — to speak to me, is, I own, very new 
and very strange." 

" Is not this profession of humility a little — a very little — bit of 
exaggeration, Miss Dill ?" 

" Is not the remark you have made on it a little — a very little — bit 
of a liberty, Mr. Conyers ?" 

So little was he prepared for this retort that he flushed up to his 
forehead, and for an instant was unable to recover himself; mean- 
w'hile, she was busy in rescuing Scratch from a long bramble that had 
most uncomfortably associated itself with his tail, in gratitude for 
which service the beast jumped up on her with all the luicouth 
activity of his race. 

" He, at least. Miss Dill, can take liberties unrebuked," said 
Conyers, with irritation. 

" We are very old friends, Sir, and understand each other's hu- 
mours, not to say that Scratcli knows well he'd be tied up if he were 
to transgress." 

Conyers smiled ; an almost irresistible desire to utter a smartness 
crossed his mind, and he found it all but impossible to resist saying 
something about accepting the bonds if he could but accomplish the 
transgression ; but he bethought in time how unequal the war of 
banter would be between them, and it was with a quiet gravity he 

began : " I came to speak to you about Tom " 

" Why, is that not all off? Colonel Hunter represented the matter 
80 forcibly to my father, put all the didicultios so clearly before him, 



BAREINGTON. 197 

that I actually wrote to my brother, who had started for Dublio, 
begging him on no account to hasten the day of his examination, 
but to come home and devote himself carefully to the task of prepa- 
ration." 

" It is true, the Colonel never regarded the project as I did, and 
saw obstacles to its success which never occurred to me; with all 
that, however, he never convinced me I was wrong." 

" Perhaps not always an easy thing to do," said she, dryly. 

" Indeed ! Tou seem to have formed a strong opinion on the score 
of my firmness." 

" I was expecting you to say obstinacy," said she, laughing, " and 
was half prepared with a most abject retractation. At all events, I was 
aware that you did not give way." 

" And is the quality such a bad one?" 

" Just as a wind may be said to be a good or a bad one ; due west, 
for instance, would be very unfavourable if you were bound to New 
York." 

It was the second time he had angled for a compliment, and failed, 
and he walked along at her side, fretful and discontented. " I begin to 
suspect," said he, at last, " that the Colonel was far more eager to 
make himself agreeable here than to give fair play to my reasons." 

" He was deliglitful, if you mean that ; he possesses the inestimable 
boon of good spirits, which is the next thing to a good heart." 

" Tou don't like depressed people, then ?" 

" I won't say I dislike, but I dread them. The dear friends who go 
about with such histories of misfortune and gloomy reflections on 
every one's conduct always give me the idea of a person who should 
carry with him a watering-pot to sprinkle his friends in this Irish 
climate, where it rains ten mouths out of the twelve. There is a deal 
to like in life — a deal to enjoy, as well as a deal to see and to do ; and 
the spirit which we bring to it is even of more moment than the inci- 
dents that befal us." 

" Tliat was the burthen of your song a while ago," said he, smiling ; 
" could I persuade you to sing it again?" 

" What are you dreaming of, Mr. Conyers ? Is not this meeting 
here — this strolling about a garden with a young gentleman — a Hussar! 
compromising enough, not to ask me to sit down at a piano and sing 
for him ? Indeed, the only relief ray conscience gives me for the 
imprudence of this interview is the seeing how miserable it makes 
«/o?^." 

" Miserable ! — makes me miserable !" 

" Well, embarrassed— uncomfortable — ill at ease ; I don't care for 



198 BABHrNGTON. 

the wortl. Tou came here to say a variety of things, and you don't like 
to say them. You are baliced in certain very kind intentions towards 
MS, and you don't know how very little of even intended good nature 
has befallen us in life to make us deeply your debtor for the mere 
project. "Why, your very notice of poor Tom has done more to raise 
liim in his own esteem and disgust him with low associates than all 
the wise arguments of all his family. There, now, if you have not 
done us all the good you meant, be satisfied with what you really 
have done." 

" This is very far short of what I intended." 

" Of course it is ; but do not dwell upon that. I have a great stock 
of very fine intentions too, but I shall not be in the least discouraged 
if I fiud them take wing and leave me." 

" What would you do, then ?" 

"E-aise another brood. They tell us that if one seed of every 
million of acorns should grow to be a tree, all Europe would be a 
dense forest within a century. Take heart, therefore, about scattered 
projects; fully their share of them come to maturity. Oh dear! 
■what a dreary sigh you gave ! Don't you imagine yourself very 
unhappy ?" 

" If I did, I'd scarcely come to you for sympathy, certainly," said 
he, with a half-bitter smile. 

" Tou are quite right there ; not but that I could really condole 
"with some of what I opine are your great afflictions : for instance, I 
could bestow very honest grief on that splint that your charger has 
just thrown out on his back tendon ; I could even cry over the 
threatened blindness of that splendid steeple-chaser; but I'd not fret 
about the way your pelisse was braided, nor because your new phaeton 
made so much noise with the axles." 

"Bv the way," said Conyers, "I have such a horse to show you I 
he is in the village. Might I drive him up here ? AVould you allow 
me to take you back ?" 

" Not on any account. Sir ! I have grave misgivings about talking 
to vou so long here, and I am mainly reconciled by remembering how 
disagreeable I have proved myself." 

" ITow I wish I had your good spirits ! " 

" Why don't you rather wish for my fortunate lot in life — so secure 
from casualties ; so surrounded with life's comforts ; so certain to 
attach to it consideration and respect ? Take my word for it, Mr. 
Conyers, your own position is not utterly wretched ; it is rather a 
nice thing to be a Lieutenant of Hussars, with good health, a good 
fortune, and a fair promise of mustachios. There, now, enough of im- 



BAEEINGTON. 199 

pertinence for one day. I have a deal to do, and you'll not help me 
to do it. I have a whole tulip-bed to transplant, and several trees to 
remove, and a new walk to plan through the beech shrubbery, not to 
speak of a change of domicile for the pigs — if such creatures can be 
spoken of in your presence. Only think, three o'clock, and tliat 
weary Darby not got back from his dinner ! Has it ever occurred 
to you to wonder at the interminable time people can devote to a meal 
of potatoes?" 

" I cannot say that I have thought upon the matter." 
•• Pray do so, then ; divide the matter, as a German would, into all 
its ' Bearbeitungen,' and consider it ethnologically, esculently, and 
aesthetically, and you'll be surprised how puzzled you'll be ! Mean- 
while, would you do me a favour ? — I mean a great favour." 
" Of course I Avill ; only say what it is." 
" Well ; but I'm about to ask more than you suspect." 
"I do not retract. I am ready." 

" What I want, then, is that you should wheel that barrowful of 
mould as far as the melon-bed. I'd have done it myself if you had 
not been here." 

With a seriousness which cost him no small effort to maintain, 
Conyers addressed himself at once to the task ; and she walked along 
at his side, with a rake over her shoulder, talking with the same cool 
unconcern she would have bestowed on Darby. 

"I have often told Miss Barrington," said she, " that our rock 
melons were finer than hers, because we used a peculiar composite 
earth, into which ash bark and soot entered — what you are wheeling 
now, in fact, however hurtful it may be to your feelings. There! 
upset it exactly on that spot ; and now let me see if you are equally 
handy with a spade." 

''I shoiUd like to know what my wages are to be after all this," 
said he, as he spread the mould over the bed. 
" We give boys about eightpence a day." 
" Boys ! what do you mean by boys ?" 

"Everything that is not married is boy in Ireland ; so don't bo 
angry, or I'll send you oft'. Pick up those stones, and throw these 
dock-weeds to one side." 

" You'll send me a melon, at least, of my own raising, won't you ? " 
" I won't promise ; Heaven knows where you'll be — where I'll be, 
by that time ! Would i/ou like to pledge yourself to anything on the 
day the ripe fruit shall glow between those pale leaves ?" 

" Perhaps I might," said he, stealing a half tender glance towards 
her. 




//^Ji^/^ /f.^/% 



BAERINaXON. 201 

" I cannot think so. I have seen no evidence of your capture — 
not to add, nor any presumption of my own — to engage in such a pur- 
suit. My dear Mr. Conyers," said slie, seriously, " you have shown 
BO much real kindness to tlie brother, you would not, I am certain, 
detract from it by one word wliich could offend the sister. We have 
been the best of friends up to tliis ; let us part so." 

The sudden assumption of gravity in this speech seemed to dis- 
concert him so much that he made no answer, but strolled along at 
her side, tlioughtful and silent. 

"What are you thinking of?" said she, at last. 

" I was just thinking," said he, " that by the time I have reached 
my quarters and begin to con over what I have accomplished by this 
same visit of mine, I'll be not a little puzzled to say what it is." 

" Perhaps I can help you. Eirst of all, tell me what was your 
object in coming." 

'" Chiefly to talk about Tom." 

"Well, we have done so. AVe have discussed the matter, and are 
fully agreed it is better he should not go to India, but stay at home 
here and follow his profession like his father." 

"But have I said nothing about Hunter's offer?" 

" Not a word ; what is it ?" 

"How stupid of me; what could I have been thinking of all this 
time ?" 

" Heaven knows ; but what was the ofier you allude to ?" 

" It was this ; that if Tom would make haste and get his diplouui 
or his license, or whatever it is, at once, and collect all sorts of testi- 
monials as to his abilities and what not, that he'd take him out with 
him and get him an assistant-surgeoncy in a regiment, and in time, 
perhaps, a staff-appointment." 

"I'm not very certain that Tom could obtain his diploma at once. 
I'm quite sure he couldn't get any of those certificates you speak 
of. First of all, because he does not possess these same abilities you 
mention, nor if he did, is there any to vouch for tliem. We are very 
humble people, Mr. Conyers, with a village for our world, and we 
contemplate a far-away country — India, for instance — pretty much as 
we should do Mars or the Pole-star." 

" As to that, Bengal is more come-at-able than the Great Bear," 
said he, laughing. 

" For you, perhaps, not for us. There is nothing more common in 
people's mouths than go to New Zealand or Swan Kiver, or some far- 
away island in the Pacific, and make your fortune ! just as if every 
new and barbarous land was a sort of Aladdin's cave, where each might 



202 BAEUINOTOX. 

fill his pockets with gems and come out rich for life. But reflect a 
little. First, there is an outfit ; next, there is a voyage ; thirdly, there 
is need of a certain subsistence in the new countr}-^ before plana can 
be matured to render it profitable. After all these come a host of 
requirements — of courage, and energ}', and patience, and ingenuity, 
and personal strength, and endurance, not to speak of the constitu- 
tion of a horse, and some have said, the heartlcssneas of an ogre. 
My counsel to Tom would be, get the 'Arabian Nights' out ot 
your head, forget the great Caliph Conyers and all his promises, 
stay where you are and be a village apothecary." 

These words were uttered in a very quiet and matter-of-fact way, 
but they wounded Conyers more than the accents of passion. He 
was angry at the cold realistic turn of a mind so devoid of all 
heroism ; he was annoyed at the half-implied superiority a keener 
view of life than his own seemed to assert ; and he was vexed at being 
treated as a well-meaning, but very inconsiderate and inexperienced 
young gentleman. 

"Am I to take this as a refusal," said he, stifl^y ; "am I to tell 
Colonel Hunter that your brother does not accept his offer ?" 

" If it depended on me — yes ; but it does not. I'll write to-night 
and tell Tom the generous project that awaits him — he shall decide 
for himself" 

"I know Hunter will be annoyed ; lie'll think it was through some 
bungling mismanagement of mine his plan has failed ; he'll be certain 
to say. If it was I myself had spoken to her " 

" AVell, there's no harm in letting him think so," said she, laughing. 
"Tell him I think him charming, that I hope he'll have a deligiitful 
voyage and a most prosperous career after it, that I intend to read 
the Indian column in tlie newspapers from this daj^ out, and will 
always picture him to my mind as seated in the grandest of howdahs 
on the very tallest of elephants, humming ' Eule Britannia' up the 
slopes of the Himalaya, and, as the ' penny-a-liners' say, extending 
the blessings of the English rule in India." She gave Iier hand to 
him, made a little salutation — half bow, half curtsey — and saying 
" Good-by," turned back into the shrubbery and left him. 

He hesitated — almost turned to follow her; waited a second or 
two more, and then with an impatient toss of his head, walked briskly 
to the river-side and jumped into his boat. It was a sulky face that 
he wore, and a sulky spirit was at work within him. There is no 
greater discontent than that of him who cannot define the chagrin 
that consumes liim. In reality, he was angry with himself, but he 
turned the whole force of his displeasure upon her. 



BABBIN&T05^. 203 

" I suppose she is clever. I'm no judge of that sort of tiling, but 
for my own part I'd rather see her more womanly, more delicate. 
She has not a bit of heart, that's quite clear ; nor, with all her affecta- 
tions, does she pretend it." These were his first meditations, and 
after them he lit a cigar and smoked it. The weed was a good one : 
the evening was beautifully calm and soft, and the river scenery 
looked its very best. He tried to think of a dozen things .- he 
imagined, for instance, what a picturesque thing a boat-race would 
be in such a spot ; he fiiucied he saw a swift gig sweep round the 
point and head up the stream ; he caught sight of a little open in the 
trees with a background of dark rock, and he thought what a place 
for a cottage. But whether it was the " match" or the " chalet" that 
occupied him, Polly Dill was a figure in the picture ; and he muttered 
unconsciously, " How pretty she is, what a deal of expression those 
grey-blue eyes possess. She's as active as a fawn, and to the full as 
graceful, i'ancy her an Earl's daughter; give her station and all the 
advantages station would bring with it — what a girl it would be ! 
Not that she'd ever have a heart ; I'm certain of that. She's as 
worldly — as worldly as — . — " Tlie exact similitude did not occur; 
but he flung the end of his cigar into the river instead, and sat 
brooding mournfully for the rest of the way. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

DUBLIN REVISITED. 

The first stage of the Barringtons' journey was Dublin. They 
alighted at Reynolds's Hotel, in Old Dominick-street, the once fa- 
vourite resort of country celebrities. The house, it is true, was there, 
but Reynolds had long left for a land where there is but one summons 
and one reckoning ; even the old waiter', Foster, whom people believed 
immortal, was gone ; and save some cumbrous old pieces of furniture — 
barbarous relics of bad taste in mahogany — nothing recalled the past. 
The bar, where once on a time the " Beaux" and " Bloods" had ga- 
thered to exchange the smart things of the House or the hunting-field, 
was now a dingy little receptacle for umbrellas and over-coats, with a 
rickety case crammed full of unacknowledged and unclaimed letters, 
announcements of cattle fairs, and bills of houses to let. Decay and 
neglect were on everything, and the grim little waiter who ushered 



201 -BARIUNGTON. 

tliem up-stairs seemed as much astonished at their coming, as were 
they themselves with all they saw. It was not for some time, nor 
without searching inquiry, that jMiss Dinah discovered that the tide 
of popular iavour had long since retired from this quarter, and left it 
a mere barren strand, wreck-strewn and deserted. The house where 
formerly the great squire held his revels, had now fallen to be the 
resort of the traveller by canal-boat, the cattle salesman, or the priest. 
While she by an ingenious cross-examination was eliciting these 
details, Barriugton had talcen a walk through the city to revisit old 
scenes and revive old memories. One needs not to be as old as Peter 
Barriugton to have gone through this process and experienced all its 
pain. Unquestionably, every city of Europe has made within such a 
period as five-and-thirty or forty years immense strides of improve- 
ment. Wider and finer streets, more commodious thoroughfares, 
better bridges, lighter areas, more brilliant shops, strike one on every 
band; while the more permanent monuments of architecture are 
more cleanly, more orderly, and more cared for than of old. \ie see 
these things with astonishment and admiration at first, and tlien there 
comes a pang of painful regret — not for the old dark alley and the 
crooked street, or the tumbling arch of long ago — but for the time 
when thev were there, for the time when they entered into our daily 
life, when with them were associated friends long lost sight of, and 
scenes dimly fading away from memory. It is for our youth, for the 
glorious spring and elasticity of our once high-hearted spirit, of our 
lives so free of care, of our days undarkened by a serious sorrow, — it 
is for these we mourn, and to our eyes at such moments the spacious 
street is but a desert, and the splendid monument but a whitened 
sepulchre! 

" I don't think I ever had a sadder walk in my life, Dinah," said 
Peter Barriugton, with a weary sigh. " Till I got into the courts of 
the College, I never chanced upon a spot that looked as I had left it. 
There, indeed, was the quaint old square as of old, and the great bell 
— bless it for its kind voice! — was ringing out a solemn call to 
something, tliat shook the window-frames, and made the very air 
tremulous; and a pale-faced student or two hurried past, and those 
centurions in the helmets — ancient porters or Senior Fellows— I for- 
get which — stood in a little knot to stare at me. Tiiat indeed was 
like old times, Dinah, and my heart grew very full with the memory. 
After that I strolled down to the Four Courts. I knew you'd laugh, 
Dinah. I knew well you'd say, ' Was there nothing going on in the 
King's Bench or the Common Pleas P Well, tliero was only a 
revenue case, my dear, but it was interesting, very interesting; 



BABETNGTON. 205 

and there was my old friend Harry Eushe sitting as the Judge. He 
saw me, and sent round the tipstafl" to have me come up and sit on 
the bench Avith him, and we had maTiy a pleasant remembrance of old 
times — as the cross-examination went on — between us, and I pro- 
mised to dine with him on Saturday." 

*• And on Saturday we will dine at Antwerp, brother, if I know 
anything of myself." 

" Sure euougli, sister, I forgot all about it. AVell, well, where 
could my head have been ?" 

" Pretty much where you have worn it of late years, Peter Bar- 
rington. And what of Withering ? Did you see see him ?" 

" No, Dinah, he was attending a Privy Council ; but I got his 
address, and I mean to go over to see him after dinner." 

" Please to bear in mind that you are not to form any engagements, 
Peter — we leave this to-morrow evening by the packet — if it was 
the Viceroy himself tliat wanted your company." 

" Of course, dear, I never thought of such a thing. It was only 
when Harry said, ' You'll be glad to meet Casey and Burrowes, and a 
few others of the old set,' I clean forgot everything of the present, and 
only lived in the long-past time, when life really was a very jolly 
thing." 

" How did you find your friend looking ?" 

" Old, Dinah, very old ! That vile wig has, perhaps, something to say 
to it; and being a judge, too, gives a sternness to the mouth and a 
haughty imperiousness to the brow. It spoils Harry ; utterly spoils 
that laughing blue eye, and that fine rich humour that used to play 
about his lips." 

" Which did, you ought to say — which did, some forty years ago. 
What are you laughing at, Peter ? What is it amuses you so 
highly?" 

" It was a charge of 0' Grady's, that Harry told me — a charge to 
one of those petty juries that, he says, never will go right, do what 
you may. The case was a young student of Trinity, tried for a theft, 
and whose defence was only by witnesses to character, and 0' Grady 
said, ' Gentlemen of the jury, the issue before you is easy enough. 
This is a young gentleman of pleasing manners and the very best 
connexions, who stole a pair of silk stockings, and you will find ac- 
cordingly.' And what d'ye think, Dinah ? They acquitted ]ii:n, just 
out of compliment to the Bench." 

" I declare, brother Peter, such a story inspires any other senti- 
ment than mirth to me." 

" I laughed at it till ray sides ached," said he. wiping his eyes. "2 



20(5 BARRINaXON. 

took a peep into the Chancery Court and saw O'Counell, who has 
plenty of business, tliey tell me. lie was in some altercation with the 
Court. Lord Manners was scowling at him, as if he hated him. I 
hear that no day passes without some angry passage between them." 
" And is it of these jangling, quarrelsome, irritable, and insolent 
men your ideal of agreeable society is made up, brotlier Peter?" 

" Not a doubt of it, Dinah. All tliese displays are briefed to them. 
They cannot help investing in their client's cause the fervour of their 
natures, simply because they are human ; but they know how to leave 
all the acrimony of the contest in the wig-box, wben they undress 
and come back to their homes — the most genial, hearty, and frank 
iellows in all the world. If human nature were all bad, sister, he 
who saw it closest would be, I own, most like to catch its corrup- 
tion, but it is not so, far from it. Every day and every hour reveals 
something to make a man right proud of liis fellow-men." 

Miss Barrington curtly recalled her brother from these speculations 
to the practical details of their journey, reminding him of much that 
he had to consult Withering upon, and many questions of importance 
to put to him. Thoroughly impressed with the perils of a journey 
abroad, she conjured up a vast array of imaginary difficulties, and 
demanded special instructions how each of them was to be met. Had 
poor Peter been — wliat he certainly was not — a most accomplished 
casuist, he might have been puzzled by the ingenious complexity of 
some of those embarrassments. As it was, like a man in a labyrinth, 
too much bewildered to attempt escape, he sat down in a dogged 
insensibility, and actually heard nothing. 

"Are you minding me, Peter?" asked she, fretfully, at last; "are 
you paying attention to what I am saying ?" 

"Of course I am, Dinah dear; I'm listening with all ears." 

" What was it, then, that I last remarked ? AVhat was the subject 
to which I asked your attention ?" 

Thus suddenly called on, poor Peter started and rubbed his fore- 
head. Vague shadows of passport people, and custom-house folk, and 
waiters, and money-changers, and brigands ; insolent postilions, 
importunate beggars, cheating innkeepers, and insinuating swindlers 
were passing through his liead, with innumerable incidents of the 
road ; and, trying to catch a clue at random, he said, " It was to ask 
the Envoy, her Majesty's Minister at Brussels, about a washerwoman 
who would not tear off my shirt buttons — eh, Dinali ? wasn't that 
it?" 

"Tou are insupportable, I'eter Barrington," said s1ie, rising in 
anger. " I believe that insensibility like this is not to be paralleled !" 
and she left the room in wrath. 



bahrington. 207 

Peter looked at liis watch, and was glad to see it was past eight 
o'clock, and about the hour he meant for his visit to Withering. He 
set out accordingl}^ not, indeed, quite satisfied with tlie way he had 
lately acquitted himself, but consoled by thinking that Dinah rarely 
went back of a morning on the dereliction of the evening before, so 
that they should meet good friends as ever at the breakfast-table. 
Withering was at home, but a most discreet-looking butler intimated 
that he had dined that day lelc-a-tete with a gentleman, and had left 
orders not to be disturbed on any prete.xt. " Could you not, at least, 
send in my name ?" said Barrington ; " I am a very old friend of your 
master's, whom he would regret not having seen." A little persuasion, 
aided by an argument that butlers usually succumb to, succeeded, and 
before Peter believed that hi.s card could have reached its destination, 
his friend was warmly shaking him by both hands, as he hurried hl.'n 
into the dinner-room. 

" Ton don't know what an opportune visit you have made me, Bar- 
rington," said he; "but lirst, to present you to my friend. Captain 
Stapylton — or Major — which is it?" 

" Captain. This day week, the Gazette, perhaps, may call me Major." 

" Always a pleasure to me to meet a Soldier, sir," said Barrington ; 
" and I own to the weakness of saying, all the greater when a Dragoon. 
My own boy was a cavalry man." 

" It was exactly of him we w'ere talking," said "Withering ; " my 
friend here has had a long experience of India, and has frankly told 
me much I was totally ignorant of. Prom one thing to another we 
rambled on till we came to discuss our great suit w^ith the Company, 
and Captain Stapylton assures me that we have iiever taken the right 
road in the case." 

"Nay, I could hardly liave had such presumption; I merely 
remarked, tliat without knowing India and its habits, you could 
scarcely be prepared to encounter the sort of testimony that would 
be opposed to you, or to benefit by what might tend greatly in your 
favour." 

" Just so — continue," said "Withering, who looked as though he 
had got an admirable witness on the table. 

" I'm astonished to hear from the Attorney- General," resumed 
Stapylton, " that in a case of such magnitude as this you have never 
thought of sending out an efficient agent to India to collect evidence, 
sift testimony, and make personal inquiry as to the degree of credit 
to be accorded to many of the witnesses. This inquisitorial process 
is the very first step in every Oriental suit ; you start at once, in 
fact, by sapping all the enemy's works — countermining him every- 
where." 



208 BATIRINOTOX. 

" Listen, Barriiigtoii — listen to this ; it is all new to us." 

" Everything being done by documentary evidence, there is a wide 
field for all the subtlety of the linguist ; and Ilindostanee has com- 
plexities enough to gratify the most inordinate appetite for quibble. 
A learned scholar — a Moonshee of erudition — is, therefore, tlie very 
first requisite, great care being taken to ascertain that he is not in the 
pay of the enemy." 

" AV^hat rascals !" muttered Barrington. 

" Very deep — very astute dogs, certainly, but perhaps not niucli 
more unprincipled than some fellows nearer home," continued the 
Captain, sipping his wine ; " the great peculiarity of this class is, tliat 
while employing them in the most palpably knavish manner, and 
obtaining from them scrvieca bought at every sacrifice of honour, they 
expect all the deference due to tlio most unblemished integrity." 

" I'd see them — I won't say where — first!" broke out ]3arrington ; 
" and I'd see my lawsuit after them, if only to be won by their inter- 
vention." 

" Eemeniber, Sii*," said Slapylton, calmly, "that such are the 
weapons cmjjloyed against you. That great Company does not, nor 
can it, afford to despise such auxiliaries. The East has its customs, 
and the natures of men are not light things to be smoothed down by 
conventionalities. Were you, for instance, to measure a testimony at 
Calcutta by the standard of AVestminster Hall, you would probably do 
a great and grievous injustice." 

" Just so," said Withering ; " you are quite right there, and I have 
frequently found myself posed by evidence that I felt must bo assail- 
able. Go on, and tell my iViend what you were mentioning to mo 
before he came in." 

"lam reluctant. Sir," said Stapylton, modestly, "to obtrude upon 
you, in a matter of such grand importance as this, the mere gossip of 
a mess-table, but, as allusion has been made to it, I can scarcely 
refrain. It was when serving in another Presidency, an officer of ours, 
who had been long in Bengal, one night entered upon the question of 
Colonel Barrington's claims. He quoted the words of an uncle — I 
think he said his uncle — who was a member of the Supreme Council, 
and said, ' Barrington ought to have known we never could have con- 
«-L'ded this right of sovereignty, but he ought also to have known 
that we would rather have given him ten lacs of rupees than have it 
litigated.' " 

" Have you that gentleuian's name ?" asked Barrington, eagerly. 

"I have; but the poor fellow is no more — he was of lliat fatal 
expedition to Bcloochistan eight years ago." 



BAKRINGTON". 209 

" Toil know our case, iiien, aud what we claim ?" asked Bar- 
ringtou. 

' lust as every man who has served in India knows it — popularly 
— vaguely. I know that Colonel Barrington was, as the adopted son 
of" a Eajah, invested with supreme power, aud only needed the ratifi- 
cation of Gi'eat Britain to establish a sovereignty ; and I have heard" 
— he laid stress on tlie word " heard" — " that if it had not been for 
some allegation of plotting against the Company's Government he 
really might ultimately have obtained that sanction." 

" Just what I have said over and over again !" burst in Barrington. 
" It was the worst of treachery that ruined my poor boy." 

"I have heard that also," said Stapylton, and witli a degree of 
feeling and sympathy that made the old man's heart yearn towards 
him. 

" How I wish you had known him," said he, as he drew his 
hand over his eyes. " And do you know, Sir," said he, warming, 
" that if I still follow up this suit, devoting to it the little tliat is left 
to me of life or fortune, that I do so less for any hope of gain than 
to place my poor boy before the world with his honour and fame un- 
stained." 

" My old friend does himself no more than justice there!" cried 
Withering. 

" A noble object — may you have all success in it!" said Stapylton. 
He paused, and then, in a tone of deeper feeling, added, "It will, 
perhaps, seem a great liberty, the favour I'm about to ask ; but re- 
member that, as a brother soldier with your son, I have some slight 
claim to approach you. Will you allow me to ofter you such know- 
ledge as I possess of India, to aid your suit ? Will you associate me, 
in fact, with your cause ? No higher one could there be than the vin- 
dication of a brave man's honour." 

" I thank you with all my heart and soul !" cried the old man, 
grasping his hand. " In my own name, and in that of my poor dear 
granddaugliter, I thank you." 

"Oh, then. Colonel Barrington has left a daughter? I was not 
aware of that," said Stapylton, with a certain cohhiess. 

" And a daughter who knows no more of this suit than of our 
present discussion of it," said AVithering. 

In the frankness of a nature never happier than when indulging 
its own candour, Barrington told how it was to see and fetcli 
back with him that same granddaughter he had left a spot he had 
not quitted for years. " Slie's coming back to a \evy humble home, 
it is true; but if you, Sir," said he, addressing Stapylton, " will not 



210 BAKEINQTOK. 

despise such low!}' fare as a cottac;e can aflord you, and would cou- 
dcscond to coine and see us, you shall have the welcome that is due to 
oue who wishes well to my boy's memory." 

"Aud if you do," broke in AVithering, "you'll see the prettiest 
cottage nnd the first hostess in Europe ; and here's to her health — 
Miss Dinah Earrington !" 

" I'm not going to refuse that toast, though 1 have just passed the 
decanter," said Peter. " Here's to the best of sisters !" 

" Miss Barrington !" said Stapylton, with a courteous bow, and he 
drained his glass to the bottom. 

" And that reminds me I promised to be back to tea with her,'' 
said Bariington ; and renewing uith all warmth his invitation to 
Stapylton, and cordially taking leave of his old friend, he left the 
house and hastened to his hotel. 

" AVhat a deliglitful evening I have passed, Dinah," said he, cheer- 
fully, as he entered. 

" Which means, that the Attorney- General gave you a grand 
review and sham-fight of all the legal achievements of the term ; but, 
bear in mind, brother, there is no professional slang so odious to me 
as the lawyer's, and I positively hate a joke which cost six-and- 
eightpcnce, or even three-and-fourpence." 

" Nothing of this kind -was there at all, Dinah ! AVitheriiig had a 
friend with him, a very distinguished soldier, who had seen much 
'Indian service, and entered with a most cordial warmtli into poor 
George's case. He knew it — as all in India knows it, by report — and 
frankly told us where our chief difliculties lay, and the important 
things we were neglecting." 

" How generous ! of a perfect stranger, too !" said she, with a 
scarcely detectable tone of scorn. 

" Kot — so to say — an utter stranger, for George was known to him. 
by reputation and character." 

" And who is, I suppose I am to say, your friend, Peter ?" 

" Captain or Major Stapylton, of tlie Eegent's Hussars." 

" Oh ! I know him — or rather, I know of him." 

"What and liow, Dinah ? I am very curious to hear this." 

" Simple, that while young Conyers was at the cottage he showed 
me a letter from that gentleman, asking him, in the Admiral's name, 
to Cobham, and containing, at the same time, a running criticism on 
tlie house and its guests far more flippant than creditable." 

" Men do these things every day, Dinah, and there is no harm 
in it." 

" Tiiat all depends upon whom the man is. The volatile gaiety of 



■BAnKINGTON. 211 

:i high-spirited nature, eager for effect and fond of a sensation, will 
lead to many an indiscretion ; but very different from tliis is the 
well-weighed sarcasm of a more serious mind, who not only shots his 
<'un home, but takes time to siglit ere he fires it. I hear that Cap- 
tain Stapylton is a grand, cold, thoughtful man, of five or six-and- 
thirty. Is that so ?" 

'' Perhaps he may be. He's a splendid fellow to look at, and all the 
soldier. But you shall see for yourself, and I warrant you'll not 
harbour a prejudice against him." 

" Wliicli means, you have asked him on a visit, brother Peter?" 

" Scarcely fair to call it on a visit, Dinah," blundered he out, in 
confusion ; '' but I have said with what pleasure we should see him 
under our roof when we returned." 

" I solemnly declare my belief, that if you went to a cattle-show 
you'd invite every one you met there, from the squire to the pig- 
jobber, never thinking the while that nothing is so valueless as indis- 
criminate hospitality, even if it were not costly. Nobody thanks you 
— no one is grateful for it." 

'•And wlio wants them to be grateful, Dinah ? The pleasure is in 
the giving, not in receiving. You see your fi-iends with their 
holiday faces on, when they sit round the table. The slowest and 
dreariest of them tries to look cheery ; and the stupid dog who has 
never a jest in him has at least a ready laugh for tlie wit of his neigh- 
bour." 

" Does it not spoil some of your zest for this pleasantry to think 
how it is paid for, brother?" 

" It might, perhaps, if I were to think of it ; but, thank Heaven I 
it's about one of the last things would come into my head. My dear 
sister, there's no use in always treating human nature as if it was 
sick, for, if you do, it will end by being hypochondriac !" 

" I protest, brother Peter, I don't know where you meet all the 
good and excellent people you rave about, and I feel it very cluirlish 
of you that you never present any of them to me .'" And so sayings 
she gathered her knitting materials hastily together, and reminding 
him that it was past eleven o'clock, she uttered a hurried good-nighty, 
and departed. 



p2 



212 B,vnBINOTO>', 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

A VERY SAD GOOD-BV. 

CoNTERS sat alone in his barrack-room, very sad and dispirited. 
Hunter had left that same morning, and the young soldier felt utterly 
friendless. He had obtained some weeks' leave of absence, and already 
two days of the leave had gone over, and he had not energy to set 
out if he had even a thouglit as to the whither. A variety of plans 
passed vaguely through his head. He would go down to Portsmouth 
and see Hunter off; or he would nestle down in the little village of 
Inistioge and dream away the days in quiet forgetfulness ; or he 
would go over to Paris, which he had never seen, and try whether the 
gav dissipations of that brillinnt city might not distract and amuse 
him. The mail from India had arrived and brought no letter from 
his father, and this, too, rendered him irritable and unhappy. Not 
that his father was a good correspondent ; he wrote but rarely, and 
always like one who snatched a hurried moment to catch a post. 
Still, if this were a case of emergency, any great or critical event in 
his life, he was sure his father would have informed him ; and thus 
was it that he sat balancing doubt against doubt, and setting pro- 
bability against probability, till his very head grew addled with tlie 
labour of speculation. 

It was already late; all the usual sounds of barrack life had sub- 
sided, and although on the opposite side of the square the brilliant 
lights of the mess-room windows showed where the convivial spirits 
of the regiment were assembled, all around was silent and still. Sud- 
denly, there came a dull heavy knock to the door, quickly followed 
by two or three others. 

Not caring to admit a visitor, whom, of course, he surmised would 
be some young brother-officer full of the plans and projects of the 
mess, he made no reply to the summons, nor gave any token of his 
presence. 1'lie sounds, however, were redoubled, and with an energy 
tliat seemed to vouch for perseverance ; and Conyers, partly in anger, 
and partly in curiosity, went to the door and opened it. It was not 
till after a minute or two that he was able to recognise the figure 
before him. ]t was Tom Dill, but without a hat or neckcloth, hia 
hair dishevelled, his face colourless, and iiia clothes torn, while from a 
recent wound in one hand the oiood flowed fast, and dropped ou the 



BARBINGTON. 213 

floor. The whole air and appearance of the young fellow !?o re- 
sembled drunkenness, tliat Con^'era turned a stern stare upon hi in 
as he stood in the centre of the room, and in a voice of severity said, 
" By -what presumption, Sir, do you dare to present yourself in this 
state before me ?" 

"Tou think I'm drunk. Sir, but I am not," said he, with a falter- 
ing accent and a look of almost imploring misery. 

" "What is the meaning of this state, then ? What disgraceful row 
have you been in ?" 

" None, Sir. I have cut my hand with the glass on the barrack- 
wall, and torn my trousers too ; but it's no matter, I'll not want them 
long." 

"AVhat do you mean by all this ? Explain yourself" 

" May I sit down. Sir, for I feel very weak ;" but before the per- 
mission could be granted, his kuess tottered, and he fell in a faint on 
the floor. Conyers knelt down beside him, bathed his temples with 
water, and as soon as signs of animation returned, took him up in his 
arms and laid him at full length on a sofa. 

In the vacant, meaningless glance of the poor fellow as he looked 
first around liim, Conyers could mark how he was struggling to find 
out where he was. 

" You are with me, Tom — with your friend Conyers," said he, hold- 
ing the cold clammy hand between his own. 

" Tiiank you, Sir. It is very good of you. I do not deserve it," 
said he, in a faint whisper. 

" My poor boy, you mustn't say that ; I am your friend. I told you 
already I would be so." 

" But you'll not be my friend when I tell you — when I tell you — 
all ;" and as the last word dropped, he covered his face with both his 
hands, and burst into a heavy passion of tears. 

" Come, come, Tom, this is not manly ; bear up bravely, bear up 
with courage, man. Tou used to say you had plenty of pluck if it 
were to be tried." 

" So I thought I had, Sir, but it has all left me ;" and he sobbed 
as if his heart was breaking. " But I believe I could bear anytliing 
but this," said he, in a voice shaken by convulsive throes. " It is 
the disgrace — that's what unmans me." 

" Take a glass of wine, collect yourself, and tell me all about it." 

" No, Sir. No wine, thank you ; give me a glass of water. There, 
I am better now ; my brain is not so hot. You are very good to me, 
Mr. Conyers, but it's the last time I'll ever ask it — the very last 
time, Sir; but I'll remember it all my life." 



■214 BARItlNQTOir. 

" If you give way in this fasliion, Tom, I'll not think you the 
stout-hearled fellow I once did." 

" No, Sir, nor nm I. I'll never be the same again. I feel it here. 
I feel as if something gave, something broke." And he laid bis 
hand over his heart and sighed heavily. 

" Well, take your own time about it, Tom, and let me hear if I 
cannot be of use to you." 

"No, Sir, not now. Neither you nor any one else can lieip me 
now. It's all over, Mr, Conyers — it's all finished." 

" What is over — what is finished F" 

" And so, as I thought it Avouldn't do for one like nie to be seen 
speaking to you before people, I stole away and climbed over the 
barrack-wall. I cut my hand on the glass, too, but it's nothing. 
And here I am, and here's the money you gave me ; 1 have no need 
of it now." And as he laid some crumpled bank-notes on the table, 
bis overcharged heart again betrayed him, and lie burst into tears. 
"■ Yes, Sir, that's what you gave me for the College, but I M-as re- 
jected." 

■ " Eejected, Tom ! How was that ? Be calm, my poor fellow, and 
tell me all about it quietly." 

"I'll try. Sir, I will, indeed; and I'll tell you nothing but the 
truth, that you may depend upon." He took a great drink of water, 
and went on. " If there was one man I was afraid of in the world, 
it was Surgeon Asken, of Mercer's Hospital. I used to be a dresser 
there, and lie was always angry with me, exposing me before the other 
students, and ridiculing me, so that if anything was done badly in 
the wards, he'd say, ' This is some of Master Dill's work, isn't it ?' 
Well, Sir, would you believe it, on the morning I went up for my 
examination Doctor Coles takes ill, and Surgeon Asken is called on 
to replace him. I didn't know it till I was sent for to go in, and my 
head went i-ouud, and I couldn't see, and a cold sweat came over me, 
and I was so confused, that when I got into the room I went and sat 
down beside the examiners, and never knew what they were laughing 
at. 

" ' I have no doubt, J\lr. Dill, you'll occupy one of these places at 
some future day,' says Doctor AVilles, 'but for the present your seat 
is yonder.' I don't remember much more after that, till Mr. Porter 
said, ' Don't be so nervous, Mr. Dill ; collect yourself; I am persuaded 
you know what I am asking you, if you will not be fiurried.' And 
iiU I could say was, ' God bless you for that speech, no matter how it 
^oes with me ;' and they all laughed out. 



BAEEINQTON. 215 

"It was Asken's turn now, and he began. 'You are destined for 
the iiav\% I understand, Sir ?' 

" ' No, Sir ; for the army,' said I. 

" ' Prom what we have seen to-day, you'll prove an ornament to 
either service. Meanw^hile, Sir, it will be satisfactory to the court to 
have your opinion on gun-shot wounds. Describe to us the case of 
a man labouring under the worst form of concussion of the brain, and 
by what indications you would distinguish it from fracture of the 
base of the skull, and what circumstances miglit occur to render 
the distinction more difficult, and what impossible ?' That was his 
question, and if I was to live a hundred years I'll never forget a word 
in it — it's written on my heart, I believe, for life. 

" ' Gro ou. Sir,' said he, 'the court is waiting for you.' 

" ' Take the case of concussion first,' said Dr. AYilles. 

" ' I hope I may be permitted to conduct my own examination in 
my own manner,' said Asken. 

" That finished me, and I gave a groan that set tliem all laughing 
icain. 

" 'Well, Sir, I'm waiting,' said Asken. ' You can have no difficulty 
to describe concussion, if you only give us your present sensations,' 

" ' That's as true as if you swore it,' said I. ' I'm just as if I had 
a fall on the crown of my head. There's a liaze over my eyes, and a 
ringing of bells in my ears, and a feeling as if my brain was too big.' 

" ' Take my word for it, Mr. Dill,' said he, sneeringly, ' the latter 
is a purely deceptive sensation ; the fault lies in the opposite direc- 
tion. Let us, however, take something more simple ;' and with tliat 
he described a splinter w'ound of the scalp, with the whole integu- 
ments torn in fragments, and gunpowder and sticks and sand all 
mixed up with the flap that hung down over the patient's face. 
' Now,' said he, after ten minutes' detail of this — ' now,' said he, 
' when you found the man in this case, you'd take out your scalpel, 
perhaps, and neatly cut away all these bruised and torn integu- 
ments ?' 

" ' I would. Sir,' cried I, eagerly. 

" ' I knew it,' said he, with a cry of triumph — ' I knew it. I've no 
more to ask you. You may retire.' 

" I got up to leave the room, but a sudden flash went through me, 
and I said out boldly, 

" ' Am I passed ? Tell me at once. Put me out of pain, for I cau'fc 
bear any more !' 

" ' If you'll retire for a few minutes ' said the President 



21G BAHRIXOTOX. 

" ' My lieart will break, Sir,' said ], ' it' I'm to be in suspens/i anv 
more. Tell be tlie worst at once.' 

"And I sujipose tliey did tell me, for I knew no more till I found 
myself in the bousekeeper's room, with wet cloths on my head, and 
the money you see there in the pahn of my hand. That told every- 
thing. Many were very kind to me, telling how it happened to this 
and to that man, tlie first time! and that Asken was thouglit very 
unfair, and so on ; but I just washed my face witli cold water, and 
put on my hat and went away home, that is, to where I lodged, and I 
wrote to Polly just tiiis one line: ' Rejected ; I'm not coming back.' And 
then I sliut the shutters and went to bed in my clothes as I was, and 
I slept sixteen hours without ever waking. When 1 awoke I was all 
right. I couldn't remember everything that happened for some 
time, but I knew it all at last, and so I went oti" straight to the 
Royal Barracks and listed." 

" Enlisted ?— enlisted ?" 

"Yes, Sir, in the Forty-ninth Regiment of Eoot, now in India, and 
sending off drafts from Cork to join them on Tuesday. It was out 
of the depot at the bridge I made my escape to-night to come and 
see you once more, and to give you this with my hearty blessing, 
for you were the only one ever stood to me in the world — the only 
one that let me think for a moment I could be a gentleman !" 

" Come, come, this is all wrong, and hasty, and passionate, Tom. 
You have no right to repay your family in this sort; this is not the 
way to treat that fine-hearted girl, who has done so much for you ; 
this is but an outbreak of angry selfishness." 

" These are hard words, Sir, very hard words, and I wish you had 
not said them." 

" Hard or not, you deserve them ; and it is their justice that 
wounds you." 

" I won't say that it is not, Sir. But it isn't justice I'm asking 
for, but forgiveness. Just one word out of your mouth to say, ' I'm 
sorry for you, Tom ;' or, ' I wish you well.' " 

" So I do, my poor fellow, with all my heart," cried Conyers, 
grasping his hand and pressing it cordially, "and I'll get you out of 
this t'Crape, cost what it may." 

" If you mean. Sir, that I'm to get my discharge, it's better to tell 
Ihe truth at once. I wouldn't take it. No, Sir, I'll stand by what 
I've done. I see I never could be a doctor, and I have my doubts, 
too, if I ever could be a gentleman ; but there's something tells me 1 
could be a soldier, and I'll try." 



«AllftlNGTOJ<. 217 

Conyers turned from liim with an impatient gesture, and walked 
lie room in moody silence. 

" I know well enough, Sir," continued Tom, "what every one will 
say ; perhaps you yourself are thinking it this very minute : ' It's all 
out of his love of low company he's gone and done this ; he's more at 
home with those poor ignorant boys there than he would be with 
juen of education and good manners.' Perhaps it's true, perhaps it 
isn't ! But there's one thing certain, which is, that I'll never try 
again to be anything that I feel is clean above me, and I'll not ask 
the world to give me credit for what I have not the least preten- 
sion to." 

" Have you reflected," said Conyers, slowly, ••' that if you reject my 
assistance now, it will be too late to ask i'or it a few weeks, or even a 
few days hence ?" 

" I have thought of all that, Sir. I'll never trouble you about 
myself again." 

" My dear Tom," said Conyers, as he laid his arm on the other's 
shoulder, "just think for one moment of all the misery this step will 
cause your sister — that kind, true-hearted sister, who has behaved so 
nobly by you." 

" I have thought of that, too, Sir ; and in my heart I believe, 
though she'll fret herself at first greatly, it will all turn out best in 
the end. What could I ever be but a disgrace to her? Who'd 
ever think the same of Polly after seeing me ? Don't I bring her 
down in spite of herself; and isn't it a hard trial for her to be a lady 
when I'm in the same room with her ? No, Sir ; I'll not go back ; 
and though I haven't much hope in me, I feel I'm doing right." 

"I know well," said Conyers, pettishly, "that your sister will 
throw the whole blame on me. She'll say, naturally enough. You 
could have obtained his discharge — you should have insisted on his 
leaving." 

" That's what you could not, Sir," said Tom, sturdily. " It's a 
poor heart hasn't some pride in it ; and 1 would not go back and 
meet my father, after my disgrace, if it was to cost me my right hand — 
so don't say another word about it. Good- by. Sir, and my blessing 
go with you wherever you are. I'll never forget how you stood 
to me." 

" That money there is yours. Dill," said Conyers, half haughtily. 
" You may refuse my advice and reject my counsel, but I scarcely 
suppose you'll ask me to take back what I once have given." 

Tom tried to speak, but he faltered and moved from one foot to 



218 BAIinlNGTON". 

the other, in an embarrassed and hesitating way. He wanted to say 
how tlie sum originally intended for one object could not honestly be 
claimed for another; he wanted to say, also, that he had no longer the 
need of so much money, and tliat the only obligation he liked to 
submit to was gratitude for the past ; but a consciousness that in 
attempting to say these things some unhappy word, some ill-advised 
or ungracious expi'ession might escape him, stopped him, and he was 
silent. 

" Ton do not wish we should part coldly, Tom?" 

" No, Sir — oh no 1" cried he, eagerly. 

" Then let not that paltry gift stand in the way of our esteem. 
Now, another thing. Will you write to me? Will you tell me how 
the world fares with you, and honestly declare whether the step you 
have taken to-day brings with it regret or satisfaction ?" 

" I'm not over-much of a letter- writer," said ho, falteringly, " but 
I'll try. I must be going, Mr. Conyers," said he, after a moment's 
silence ; " I must get back before I'm missed." 

"Not as you came, Tom, however. I'll pass you out of the bar- 
rack-gate." 

As they walked along side by side neither spoke till they came 
close to the gate, then Conyers halted and said : " Can you think of 
nothing I can do for you, or is there nothing you would leave to my 
charge after you have gone ?" 

" No, Sir, nothing." He paused, and then, as it' witli a struggle, 
said, "Except you'd write one line to my sister Polly, to tell her that 
I went away in good heart, that I didn't give in one bit, and that if 

it wasn't for thinking that maybe I'd never see her again " 

He faltered, his voice grew tliick, he tried to cougli down the rising 
emotion, but the feeling overcame him, and he burst out into tears. 
Ashamed at the weakness he was endeavouring to deny, he sprang 
through the gate and disappeared. 

Conyers slowly returned to his quarters, very thoughtful and 
very sad. 



BAEHIKaTOir. 219 



CHAPTEE XXVII. 



THE CONVENT ON THE MEUSE. 



While poor Tom Dill, just entering upon life, went forth in gloom 
and disappointment to liis first venture, old Peter Barrington, broken 
by years and many a sorrow, set out on his journey with a high heart 
and a spirit well disposed to see everything in its best light, and be 
pleased with all around him. Much of this is, doubtless, matter of 
temperament ; but I suspect, too, that all of us have more in our 
power in this way than we practise. Barrington had possibly less 
merit than his neighbours, for nature had given him one of those 
happv dispositions upon which the passing vexations of life produce 
scarcely any other effect than a stimulus to humour, or a tendency to 
make them matter of amusing memory. 

He had lived, besides, so long estranged from the world, that life 
had for him all the interest of a drama, and he could no more have 
felt angry with the obtrusive waiter or the roguish landlord than he 
would with their fictitious representatives on the stage. They were, 
in his eyes, parts admirably played, and no more ; he watched them 
with a sense of humorous curiosity, and laughed heartily at successes 
of which he was himself the victim. Miss Barrington was no disciple 
of this school ; rogues to her were simply rogues, and no histrionic 
sympathies dulled the vexation they gave her. The world, out of 
which she had lived so long, had, to her thinking, far from improved 
in the mean while. People were less deferential, less courteous than 
of old. There was an indecent haste and bustle about everything, 
and a selfish disregard of one's neighbour was the marked feature of 
all travel. While her brother repaid himself for many an inconve- 
nience by thinking over some strange caprice, or some curious incon- 
sistency in human nature — texts for amusing afterthought — she only 
winced under the infliction, and chafed at every instance of cheating 
or impertinence that befel them. 

The wonderful things she saw, the splendid galleries rich in art, 
the gorgeous palaces, the grand old cathedrals, were all marred to her 
by the presence of the loquacious lacquey whose glib tongue had to 
be retained at the salary of the " vicar of our parish," and who 
never descanted on a saint's tibia without costing the price of a 



220 BAIIRINOTON. 

dinner ; so tliat old Peter at last said to himself, " I believe my 
sister Dinah wouldn't enjoy the Garden of Eden if Adam had to go 
about and sliow her its beauties." 

The lirst uionient of real enjoyment of her tour was on that morn- 
ing when tliey left Namur to drive to tlie Convent of Bramaigne, 
about three jniles off, on the bank of the Meuse. A lovelier day 
never shone upon a lovelier scene. The river, on one side guarded 
by lofty cliffs, was on tlie other bounded by a succession of rich 
meadows, dotted with picturesque homesteads half hidden in trees. 
Little patches of cultivation, laboured to the perfection of a garden, 
varied the scene, and beautiful cattle lay lazily under the giant trees, 
solemn voluptuaries of the peaceful happiness of their lot. 

Hitherto jNliss Dinah had stoutly denied that anything they had 
seen could compare with their own " vale and Avinding river," but now 
she frankly ow-ned that the stream was wider, the cliffs higher, the 
trees taller and better grown, while the variety of tint in the foliage 
far exceeded all she had any notion of; but above all these were the 
evidences of abundance, the irresistible charm that gives the poetry 
to peasant life; and the pictiu'esque cottage, the costume, the well- 
stored granary, bespeak the condition with which we associate our 
ideas of rural happiness. The giant oxen as they marched proudly 
to their toil, the gaily caparisoned pony who jingled his bells as he 
trotted by, the peasant girls as they sat at their lace cushions before 
the door, the rosy urchins who gambolled in the deep grass, all told 
of plenty — that blessing which to man is as the sunlight to a land- 
scape, making the fertile spots more beautiful, and giving even to rug- 
gedness an aspect of stern grandeur. 

" Oh, brother Peter, that we could see something like this at home," 
cried she. " See that girl yonder watering the Howers in her little 
garden — how prettily that old vine is trained over the balcony — mark 
the scarlet tassels in the snow-white team — are not these signs of an 
existence not linked to daily drudgery ? I wish our people could be 
like these." 

" Here we are, Dinah ; there is the convent !" cried Barrington, as 
a tall massive roof appeared over the tree-tops, and the little carriage 
now turned from the high road into a shady avenue of tall elins. 
" What a grand old place it is ; some great seignorial chateau once 
on a time." 

As they drew nigh, nothing bespoke the cloister. The massive old 
building, broken by many a projection and varied by many a gable, 
stood, like the mansion of some rich proprietor, in a vast wooded 
lawn. The windows lay open, the terrace was covered with orange and 



B AEBIN aTOK. 22 1 

lemon-trees and flowering plants, amid wliicli seats were scattered 
and in the rooms witliin, the furniture indicated habits of comfort and 
even of luxury. With all this, no living thing was to be seen, and 
when Barrington got down and entered the hall he neither found a 
servant nor any means to summon one. 

" You'll have to move that little slide you see in the door there," 
said the driver of the carriage, "and some one will come to you." 

He did so, and after waiting a few moments, a somewhat ruddy, 
cheerful face, surmounted by a sort of widow's cap, appeared, and 
asked his business. 

" They are at dinner, but if you will enter the drawing-room she 
will come to you presently." 

They waited for some time ; to them it seemed very long, for tliey 
never spoke, but sat there in silent thoughtfulness, their hearts very 
full, for there was much in that expectancy, and all tlie visions of 
many a wakeful night or dreary day might now^ receive their shocic or 
their support. Their patience was to be further tested, for, when the 
door opened, there entered a grim-looking little woman in a nun's 
costume, who, without previous salutation, announced herself as 
Sister Lydia. Whether the opportunity for expansiveness was rare, 
or that her especial gift was fluency, never did a little old woman 
hold forth more volubly. As though anticipating all the worldly ob- 
jections to a conventual existence, or rather seeming to suppose that 
every possible thing had been actually said on that ground, she 
assumed the defence the very moment she sat down. Nothing short 
of long practice with this argument could have stored her mind with 
all her instances, her quotations, and her references. Nor could any- 
thing short of a firm conviction have made her so courageously in- 
diflferent to the feelings she was outraging, for she never scrupled to 
arraign the two strangers before her for ignorance, apathy, worldli- 
ness, sordid and poor ambitions, and, last of all, a levity unbecoming 
tiieir time of life. 

" I'm not quite sure that I understand her aright," whispered 
Peter, whose familiarity with French was not what it had once been, 
" but if I do, Dinah, she's giving us a rare lesson." 

" She's the most insolent old woman I ever met in my life," said 
his sister, whose violent use of her fan seemed either likely to pro- 
voke or to prevent a fit of apoplexy. 

" It is usual," resumed Sister Lydia, " to give persons who are 
about to exercise the awful responsibility iiow devolving upon you 
the opportunity of well weighing and reflecting over the arguments I 
have somewhat faintlv shadowed forth." 



222 ■RAHRINGTOX. 

" Oh!" not faintly groaned J3arriiigtoii. 

But she minded notliiug the interruption, and wont on: 

" And for this purpose a little tract lias beeu composed, entitled, 
' A "Word to the A\''orldling.' Tlii-s, with your permission, I Avill place 
in your hands. You will there iind at more length than I could 
bestow But I fear I impose upon this lady's patience ?" 

" It lias left me long since, madam," said Miss Dinah, as she 
actually gasped for breath. 

In the grim half smile of the old nun might be seen the triumphant 
consciousness that placed her above the '•' mundane," but she did not 
resent the speech, simply saying that, as it was the hour of recreation, 
perhaps she would like to see her young ward in the garden with her 
companions. 

" By all means. AVe thank you lieartily for the ofl'er," cried Bar- 
rington, rising hastily. 

"With another smile, still more meaningly a reproof, Sister Lydia 
reminded him that the profane foot of a man had never transgressed 
the sacred precincts of the convent garden, and that he must remain 
where he w'as. 

'• For Heaven's sake ! Dinah, don't keep me a prisoner here a 
moment longer than you can help it," cried he, " or I'll not answer 
for my good behaviour." 

As Barrington paced up and down the room with impatient steps, 
he could not escape the self-accusation that all his present anxiety 
Avas scarcely compatible with the long, long years of neglect and ob- 
livion he had suftered to glide over. The years in which he had neve, 
heard of Josephine — never asked for her — was a charge there was no 
rebutting. Of course he could fall back upon all that special plead- 
ing ingenuity and self-love will supply about his own misfortunes, 
the crushing embarrassments that befel liim, and such like. But 
it was no use, it was desertion, call it liow he would, a,nd poor as he 
was he had never been without a roof to shelter her, and if it had 
not been for false pride he would liave oflered her that refuge long 
ago. He was act\ially startled as he thought over all this. Tour 
generous people who forgive injuries with little effoi't, who bear no 
malice nor cherish any resentment, would be angels — downright 
angels — if we did not find that they are just as indulgent, just as 
merciful to themselves as to the world at large. They become per- 
fect adepts in apologies, and with one cast of the net draw in a whole 
shoal of attenuating circumstances. To be sure, there will now and 
then break in upon them a startling suspieion that all is not right, 
and that conscience has been " cooking" the account, and Avhen such 
a moment does come it is a very painful one. 



BAiinrNGTOK. 22fi 

" Ei^ad !" muttered he to liimself, " we have been very heartless all 
this time, there's no denying it ; and if poor George's girl be a dis- 
ciple of that grim old woman with the rosary and the wrinkles it is 
nobody's fault but our own." He looked at his watch ; Dinah had 
been gone more than half an hour. AVhat a time to keep him in sus- 
pense. Of course there were formalities — the Sister Lydia described 
innumerable ones — gaol delivery was nothing to it, but surely five-and- 
thirty minutes would suffice to sign a score of documents. Tlie 
place was becoming hateful to him. The grand old park, with its 
aged oaks, seemed sad as a graveyard, and the great silent house, 
where not a footfall sounded, appeared a tomb. " Poor cliild ! what 
a dreary spot you have spent your brightest years in — what a shadow- 
to throw over the whole of a lifetime!" 

He had just arrived at that point wherein his granddaughter arose 
before his mind a pale, careworn, sorrow-struck girl, crushed beneath 
the dreary monotony of a joyless life, and seeming only to move in a 
sort of dreamy melancholy, when the door opened, and Miss Ear- 
rington entered with her arm around a young girl tall as herself, and 
from whose commanding figure even the ungainly dress she woii' 
could not take away the dignity, 

" Tliis is Josephine, Peter," said Miss Dinah, and though Barring- 
ton rushed forward to clasp her iu his arms, she anerely crossed liors 
demurely on her breast and curtseyed deeply. 

" It is your grandpapa, Josephine," said Miss Dinah ; half tartly. 

The young girl opened her large, full, lustrous eyes, and stared 
steadfastly at him, and then, with infinite grace, she took his hand 
and kissed it. 

" My own dear child," cried the old man, throwing his arms arouiul 
her, " it is not homage, it is your love we want." 

" Take care, Peter, take care," whispered bis sister ; " she is very 
timid and very strange." 

" You speak English, I hope, dear r" said the old man. 

" Yes, Sir, I like it best," said she. And there was the very faintest 
possible foreign accent in the words. 

" Isn't that George's own voice, Dinah ? Don't you think you 
'leard himself there ?" 

" The voice is certainly like him,''' said Miss Dinah, with a marked 
emphasis. 

" And so are — no, not her eyes, but her brow, Dinah. Yes, dar- 
ling, you have his own frank look, and I feel sure you have his own 
generous nature." 

" Tliey say I'm like my mother's picture," said she, unfastening a 
locket she wore from its chain and lianding it. And both Peter and 



224 BAUUIJQION. 

his sister pazcd eagerly at the miniature. It was of a very dark bu't 
liandsoiiie woman in a ricli turban, and who, thougli profusely orna- 
mented with costly gems, did, in reality, present a resemblance to the 
cloistered figure before them. 

" Am I like her ?" asked the girl, with a shade more of earnestness 
in her voice. 

"You are, darling; but like your father, too, and every word you 
utter brings back his memory ; and see, Dinah, it' that isn't George'a 
old trick — to lay one hand in the palm of the other." 

As if corrected, the young girl dropped her arms to her sides and 
stood like a statue. 

" Be like him in everything, dearest child," said the old man, " if 
you would have my heart all your own." 

" I must be what I am," said she, solemnly. 

" Just so, Josephine ; well said, my good girl. Be natural," said 
Miss Dinah, kissing her, " and our love will never fail you." 

There was the faintest little smile of acknowledgment to this 
speech, but faint as it was it dimpled her cheek, and seemed to have 
left a pleasant expression on her face, for old Peter gazed on her with 
increased delight as he said, " That was George's own smile ; just the 
way he used to look, half grave, half merry. Oli, how you bring him 
back to me !" 

" Tou see, my dear child, that you are one of us; let us hope you 
will share in the happiness this gives us." 

The girl listened attentively to Miss Dinah's words, and after a 
pause of apparent thought over them, said, " I will hope so." 

" May we leave this, Dinah ? Are we free to get away r" whispered 
Barrington to his sister, for an unaccountable oppression seemed to 
weigh on him, both from the place and its belongings. 

" Yes ; Josephine has only one good-by to say : her trunks are 
already on the carriage, and there is nothing more to detain us." 

"Go and say that farewell, dear child," said he affectionately; 
" and be speedy, for there are longing hearts here to wish for your 
return." 

With a grave and quiet mien slie walked away, and as she gained 
the door turned round and made a deep, respectful curtsey — a move- 
ment so ceremonious that the old man involuntarily replied to it by 
a bow as deep and reverential. 



BAHBINGTON 22i> 



CHAPTEE XXVIII. 

George's daughter. 

I SUPPOSE, iiaj, I am certain, that the memory of our liappiest 
moments ought ever to be of the very faintest and weakest, since, 
could we recal them in all their fulness and freshness, the recollec- 
tion would only serve to deepen the gloom of age, and embitter all 
its daily trials. Nor is it, altogether, a question of memory ! It is in 
the very essence of happiness to be indescribable. Who could impart 
in words the simple pleasure he has felt as he lay day-dreaming in 
the deep grass, lulled by the humming insect, or the splash of falling 
water, with teeming fancy peopling the space around, and blending 
the possible with the actual ? The more exquisite the sense of enjoy- 
ment, the more will it defy delineation. And so, when we come to 
describe the happiness of others, do we find our words weak, and our 
attempt mere failure. 

It is in this difficulty that I now find myself. I would tell, if I 
could, how enjoyably the Barringtons sauntered about through tlie 
old villages on the Rhine and up the Moselle, less travelling than 
strolling along in purposeless indolence, resting here and halting 
tliere, always interested, always pleased. It was strange into what 
perfect harmony these three natures — unlike as they were — blended ! 

Old Peter's sympathies went with all things human, and he loved 
to watch the village life and catch what he could of its ways and in- 
stincts. His sister, to whom the love of scenery was a passion, never 
wearied of the picturesque land they travelled ; and as for Josephine, 
she was no longer the demure pensionnaire of the convent — thoughtful 
and reserved, even to secresy — but a happy child, revelling in a thou- 
sand senses of enjoyment, and actually exulting in the beauty of 
all she saw around her. What depression must come of captivity, 
when even its faintest image, the cloister, could have weighed down 
a heart like hers ! Such was Barrington's thought as he beheld her 
at play with the peasant children, weaving garlands for a village fete, 
or joyously joining the chorus of a peasant song. There was, besides, 
something singularly touching in the half-consciousness of her free- 
dom, when recalled for an instant to the past by the tinkling bell of 
a church. She would seem to stop in her play, and bethink ner now 



22'J DAKlUNGTO^w 

and why she was there, and then, with a cry of joy, bound away a.ier 
her companions in wild delight. 

" Dearest aunt," said she, one day, as they sat on a rocky ledge 
over the little river that traverses the Lahn-ech, " shall I always 
find the same enjoyment in life that I feel now, for it seems to me 
this is a measure of happiness that could not endure ?" 

'' Some share of this is owing to contrast, Piline. Your convent 
life had not too many pleasures." 

" It was, or rather it seems to me now, as I look back, a long and 
weary dream; but, at the same time, it appears more real than this ; 
for do what I may, I cannot imagine this to be the world of misery 
and sorrow I have heard so much of! Can any one fancy a scene 
more beautiful than this before us ? Where is the perfume more 
exquisite than these violets I now crush in my hand ? The peasants, 
as they salute us, look happy and contented. Is it, then, only in 
great cities that men make each other miserable ?" 

Dinah shook her head, but did not speak. 

" I am so glad grandpapa does not live in a city. Aunt, I am 
never wearied of hearing you talk of that dear cottage beside the 
river ; and through all my present delight, I feel a sense of impa- 
tience to be there, to be at ' home.' " 

" So that you will not hold us to our pledge to bring you back to 
Bramaigne, Pifiue," said Miss Dinah, smiling. 

" Oh no, no ! Not if you will let me live with you. Never !" 

" But you have been happy up to this, Eifine ? Tou have said over 
and over again that your convent life was dear to you, and all its 
ways pleasant." 

" It is just the same change to me to live as I now do, as in my 
lieart I feel changed after reading out one of those delightful stories 
to grandpapa — Eob Eoy, for instance. It all tells of a world so 
much more bright and beautiful tiian I knew of, that it seems as 
tliough new senses were given to me. It is so strange and so capti- 
vating, too, to hear of generous impulses, noble devotion — of faith 
that never swerved, and love that never faltered." 

" In novels, child ; these were in novels." 

" True, aunt ; but they had found no place there had they been 
incredible ; at least, it is clear that he who tells the tale would have 
us believe it to be true." 

Miss Dinah had not been a convert to her brother's notions as 
TO Fitine's readings; and she was now more disposed to doubt than 
ever. To overthrow of a sudden, as though by a great shock, all the 
stern realism of a cloister existence, and supply its place with licti- 




' yA^ ilyA^^i^:^ /^-^C'. 



T/tS' . 



BAllKINGTON. 227 

tious incidents aud people, seemed rasb and perilous; but old Peter 
only thought of giving a full liberty to the imprisoned spirit — 
striking oif chain aud fetter, aud setting the captive free — free in 
all the glorious liberty of a young imagination. 

•' AV\'ll, liere comes grandpapa," said Miss Dinah, " and, if I don't 
mistake, with a book in his hand for one of your morning readings." 

Josephine ran eagerly to meet him, and fondly drawing her arm 
■within his own, came back at his side. 

" The third volume, Fifine, the third volume," said he, holding the 
book aloft. '• Only think, child, what fates are enclosed within a 
third volume! "What a deal of happiness or long-living misery are 
here included 1" 

She struggled to take the book from bis baud, but lie evaded her 
grasp, and placed it in his pocket, saying, 

" jS"ot till evening, Fifine. I am beut on a long ramble up the Glen 
this morning, and you shall tell me all about tbe sisterhood, and sing 
me one of tiiose little Latin canticles I'm so fond of." 

" Meanwhile, I'll go and finish my letter to Polly Dill. I told 
her, Peter, that by Thursday next, or Friday, she might expect us." 

" I hope so, with all my heart ; for, beautiful as all this is, it wants 
the greatest charm — it's not home! Then I want, besides, to see 
Fifine full of household cares." 

" Feeding the chickens instead of chasing the butterflies, Fifine. 
Totting up the house-bills, in lieu of sighing over ' Waverley.' " 

'■ And, if I know Fiiinc, she will be able to do cue without relin- 
quishing the other," said Peter, gravely. " Our daily life is all the 
more beautiful when it has its landscape reliefs of light and shadow." 

" I think I could, too," cried Fifine, eagerly. " I feel as though I 
could work in the fields and be happy, just in the conscious sense of 
doing what it was good to do, and what others w^ould praise me for." 

" There's a paymaster w-ill never fail you in such hire," said Miss 
Dinah, pointing to her brother ; and then, turning away, she walked 
back to the little inn. As she drew nigh, the landlord came to tell 
her that a young gentleman, on seeing her name in the list of 
strangers, had made many inquiries after her, and begged he might 
be informed of her return. On learning that he was in the garden, 
she went thither at once. 

" I I'elt it was you. I knew who had been asking for me, Mr. 
Conyers," said she, advancing towards Fred with her hand out. " But 
what strange chance could have led you here?" 

" You have just said it, Miss Barrington ; a chance — a mere chance. 
1 had got a short leave from my regiment, and came abroad to 

Q 2 



22S BAltBIXGTON. 

wander about with no very definite object: but, growing impatieui; 
of the wearisome liordes of our countrymen on tlie Eliine, I turned 
aside yesterday from that great high road and readied this spot, 
whose greatest charm — shall I own it ? — was a fancied resembhmcc 
to a scene I loved far better." 

" Tou are right. It was only this morning my brother said it was 
so like our own cottage." 

"And he is here also?" said tlie young man, with a half-con- 
straint. 

" Tes, and very eager to see you, and ask your forgiveness for his 
ungracious manner to you — not that I saw it, or understand what it 
could mean — but he says that he has a pardon to crave at your 
hands." 

So confused was Conyers for an instant, that he made no answer, 
and when lie did speak, it was falteringly and with embarrassment. 

" I never could have anticipated meeting you here. It is more 
cood fortune than I ever looked for." 

" We came over to the Continent to fetch away my grand-niece, 
the daughter of that Colonel Barrington you have heard so much of." 

"And is she " He stopped, and grew scarlet wath confusion: 

but she broke in, laughingly, 

" No, not black, only dark-complexioned; in fact, a brunette, and 
no more." 

" Oh, I don't mean — I surely could not liave said " 

" No matter what you meant or said. Your unuttered question 
was one that kept occurring to my brother and myself every morning 
as we journeyed here, though neither of us had the courage to speak 
it. But our wonders are over; she is a dear good girl, and we love 
her better every day we see her. But now a little about yourself. 
Why do I find you so low and depressed?" 

" I liave had much to fret me. Miss Barrington. Some were things 
that could give but passing unhappiness ; others were of graver 
import." 

" Tell me so much as you may of them, and I will try to help you 
to bear up against them." 

" I will tell you all — everything !" cried he. "It is the very mo- 
ment I have been longing for, when I could pour out all my cares 
before you, and ask. What shall I do ?" 

Miss Barrington silently drew her arm within his, and they strolled 
along the shady alley without a word. 

" I must begin with my great grief — it absorbs all tlie rest," Said 
he, suddenly. "My father is coming home; he has lust or throwiv 



BARIUNOTOX. 229 

up, I can't tell wliich, liis bigli einployinent. I have heard both 
versions ot" the story ; and liis own lew words, in the oidy letter he 
has written me, do not confirm either. His tone is indignant; but 
far more is it sad and depressed — he, who never wrote a line but in 
the joyousness of his high-hearted nature — who met each accident of 
life with an undaunted spirit, and spurned the very thought of being 
east down by fortune. See what he says here." And he took a 
much-crumpled letter from his pocket, aud folded down a part of it. 
" Eead that : ' The time for men of my stamp is gone by in India. 
"We are as much bygones as the old flint musket, or the matchlock. 
Soldiers of a different temperament are the fashion now ; and the 
sooner we are pensioned or die off the better. For my own part, I 
am sick of it. I have lost my liver and have not made my fortune^ 
and like men who have missed their opportunities, I come away toe 
discontented with myself to think well of any one. They fancied 
that by coldness aud neglect they might get rid of me, as they did 
once before of a far worthier and better fellow ; but though I never 
had the courage that he had, they shall not break my heart.' Does it 
strike you to whom he alludes tliere ?" asked Conyers, suddenly; 
" for each time that I read the words, I am more disposed to believe 
that they refer to Colonel Barrington." 

" I am sure of it !" cried she. " It is the testimony of a sorrow- 
stricken heart to an old friend's memory ; but I hear my brother's 
voice ; let me go and tell him you are here." But Barrington was 
already coming towards them, 

" Ah, Mr. Couyers !" cried he. " If you knew how I have longed 
for this moment ! I believe you are the only man in the world I 
ever ill treated on my own threshold ; but the very thought of it 
gave me a fit of illness, and now the best thing I know on my re- 
covery is, that I am here to ask your pardon." 

" I have really nothing to forgive. I met under your roof with a 
kindness that never befel me before ; nor do I know the spot on 
earth where I could look for the like to-morrow." 

" Come back to it, then, and see if the charm should not be there 
still." 

" Where's Josephine, brother ?" asked Miss Barrington, who, 
seeing the young man's agitation, wished to change the theme. 

" She's gone to put some ferns in water ; but here she comes, 
now." 

Bounding wildly along, like a child in joyous freedom, Josephine 
came towards them, and, suddenly halting at sight of a stranger, she 
stopped and curtseyed deeply, while Conyers, half ashamed at his own 



230 ]!Ai:iiiN(jruK 

unliappy bliiuder about her, blushed deeply as he saluted her. 
Indeed, their meetiiij;j was more like that of two awkward timid 
children than of two young persons of their age; and they eyed each 
other with the distrust schoolboys and girls exchange on a first 
acquaintance. 

'' Brother, I have something to tell you," said Miss Barrington, 
who was eager to communicate the news she had just heard of 
General Conyers; and while she drew him to one side the young 
people still stood there, each seeming to expect the other would 
make some advance towards acquaintanceship. Conyers tried to say 
some common-place — some one of the fifty things that would have 
occurred so naturally in presence of a young lady to whom he 
had been just presented; but he could think of none, or else those 
that he thought of seemed inappropriate. How talk, for instance, of 
the world and its pleasures to one who had been estranged from it ! 
AVliile he thus struggled and contended with himself, she suddenly 
started as if with a flash of memory, and said, '• How forgetful !" 

" Forgetful ! — and of what r" asked ho. 

"I have left the book I was reading to grandpapa on the rock 
where we were sitting. I must go and fetch it." 

" May I go with you?" asked he, half timidly. 

"Yes, if you like." 

" And your book — what was it r" 

" Oh, a charming book — such a delightful story ! So many people 
one would have loved to know ! — such scenes one would have loved to 
visit ! — incidents, too, that keep the heart in intense anxiety, that you 
wonder how he who imagined them could have sustained the thrilling 
interest, and held his own heart so long in terrible suspense !" 

"And the name of this wonderful book is " 

" ' WaverJey.' " 

'• I have read it," said lie, coldly. 

" And have you not longed to be a soldier ? Has not your heart 
bounded with eagerness for a life of adventure and peril ?" 

" I am a soldier," said he, quietly. 

" Indeed !" replied she, slowly, while her steadfast glance scanned 
him calmly and deliberately. 

"Tou find it hard to recognise as a soldier one dressed as I ara, 
and probably wonder how such a life as this consorts with enterprise 
and danger. Is not that what is passing in your mind ?" 

" Mayhap," said she, in a low voice. 

" It is all because the world has changed a good deal since "Waver- 
ley's time," 



IJ.VKIUXOTOK. 231 

'* How sorry I am to liear it !" 

" Nay, for your sake it is all tlio better. Young ladies have a 
pleasanter existence now than they had sixty years since. They 
lived then lives of household drudgery, or utter weariness." 

" And what have they now ?" asked she, eagerly. 

" What have they not ! All that can embellish life is around 
them ; they are taught in a hundred ways to employ the faculties 
which give to existence its highest charm. They draw, sing, dance, 
ride, dress becomingly, read what may give to their conversation an 
added elegance, and make their presence felt as an added lustre." 

•' How unlike all this was our convent life !" said she, slowly. 
"' The beads in my rosary were not more alike than the days that 
followed each otlier, and but for the change of season I should have 
thought life a dreary sleep. Oh, if you but knew what a charnt 
there is in the changeful year to one who lives in any bondage !" 

" And yet I remember to have heard how you hoped you might 
not be taken away from that convent life, and be compelled to enter 
the world," said he, with a malicious twinkle of the eye. 

" True ; and had I lived there still I had not asked for other. But 
how came it you should have heard of me ? I never heard oi you /" 

" That is easily told. I was your aunt's guest at the time she 
resolved to come abroad to see you and fetch you home. I used to 
liear all her plans about you, so that at last — I blush to own — I 
talked of Josephine as though she were my sister." 

" How strangely cold you were, then, when we met !" said she, 
quietly. " Was it that you found me so unlike what you ex- 
jjected ?" 

" Unlike, indeed !" • 

" Tell me how — tell mo, I pray you, what you had pictured me ?" 

" It was not mere fancy I drew from. There was a miniature of 
you as a child at the cottage, and I have looked at it till I could 
recal every line of it." 

" Go on!" cried she, as he hesitated. 

" The child's face was very serious — actually graye for childhood — 
and had something almost stem in its expression ; and yet I see 
nothing of this in yours." 

" So that, like grandpapa," said she, laughing, " you were disap- 
pointed in not finding me a young tiger from Bengal ; but be patient, 
and remember how long it is since I left the jungle." 

Sportively as the words were uttered, her eyes flashed and her 
cheek coloured, and Conyers saw for the first time how she resembled 
her portrait in infancy. 



232 BAKEINGTON. 

"Tes," added she, as though answering what was passing in his 
mind, " you are thinking just like the sisters, ' Wliat years and years it 
would take to discipline one ot" such a race !' I have heard that given 
as the reason for numberless inflictions. And now, all of a sudden, 
comes grandpapa to say, ' We love you so because you are one of us.' 
Can you understand this ?" 

" I think I can — that is, I think I can understand why," he was 
going to add, " why they should love you ;" but he stopped, ashamed 
of his own eagerness. 

She waited a moment for him to continue, and then, herself blush- 
ing, as thougli she had guessed his embarrassment, she turned away. 

" And this book that we have been forgetting — let us go and search 
for it," said she, walking on rapidly in front of him, but he was 
speedily at her side again. 

" Look there, brother Peter — look there !" said Miss Dinah, as she 
pointed after them, " and see how well fitted we are to be guardians 
to a young lady !" 

" I see no harm in it, Dinah — I protest, I see no harm in it." 

" Possibly not, brother Peter, and it may only be a part of your 
system for making her — as you phrase it — feel a holy horror of the 
convent." 

"AVell," said he, meditatively, "he seems a fine, frank-hearted 
young fellow, and in this world she is about to enter, her first experi- 
ences might easily be worse." 

" I vow and declare," cried she, warmly, "I believe it is your slip- 
shod philosophy that makes me as severe as a holy inquisitor!" 

" Every evil calls forth its own correction, Dinah," said he, laughing. 
" If there were no fools to skate on the Serpentine, there had been no 
Humane Society." 

" One might grow tired of the task of resuscitating, Peter Barring- 
ton," said she, hardly. 

" Not you, not you, Dinah — at least, if I was the drowned man," 
said he, drawing her afiectionately to his side ; " and as for those 
young creatures yonder, it's like gathering dog-roses, and they'll stop 
when they have pricked their fingers." 

" I'll go and look after the nosegay myself," said she, turning 
hastily away, and following them. 

A real liking for Conyers, and a sincere interest in liim, were the 
great correctives to the part of Dragon which Miss Dinah declared 
she foresaw to bo her future lot in life. For years and years had she 
believed that the cares of a household and tlie rule of servants were 
the last trials of human patience. The larder, the dairy, and the 



BABniNGTOX. 233 

garden were eacli of them departments with special opportunities for 
deception and embezzlement, and it seemed to her tliat new discove- 
ries in roguery kept pace with the inventions of science ; but she was 
energetic and active, and kept herself at what the French would call 
" the level of the situation ;" and neither the cook, nor the dairymaid, 
nor Darby, could be vain-glorious over their battles with her. And now, 
all of a sudden, a new part was assigned her, with new duties, functions, 
and requirements ; and she was called on to exercise qualities which 
had lain long dormant and in disuse, and renew a knowledge she had 
not employed for many a year. And what a strange blending of 
pleasure and pain must have come of that memory of long ago ! Old 
conquests revived, old rivalries, and jealousies, and triumphs — glorious 
little glimpses of brilliant delight, and some dark hours, too, of dis- 
appointment — almost despair ! 

" Once a bishop, always a bishop," says the canon ; but might we 
not with almost as much truth say, " Once a beauty, always a beauty ?" 
— not in lineament and feature, in downy cheek or silky tresses, but in 
the heartfelt consciousness of a once sovereign power, in that sense 
of having been able to exact a homage and enforce a tribute. And 
as we see in the deposed monarch how the dignity of kingcraft clings 
to him, how through all he does and says there runs a vein of royal 
graciousness as from one the fount of bonour, so it is with Beauty. 
There lives through all its wreck the splendid memory of a despotism 
the most absolute, the most fascinating of all ! 

"I am so glad that young Conyers has no plans, Dinah," said 
Barrington; " he says he will join us if we permit him." 

" Humph !" said Miss Barrington, as she went on with her knitting. 
" I see nothing against it, sister." 

" Of course not, Peter," said she, snappishly ; " it would surprise 
me much if you did." 

" Do you, Dinah ?" asked he, with a true simplicity of voice and 
look. 

" I see great danger in it, if that be what you mean. And what 
answer did you make him, Peter?" 

" The same answer that I make to every one — I would consult my 
sister Dinah. ' Le Eoi s'avisera ' meant, I take it, that he'd be led 
by a wdser head than his own." 

" He was wise when he knew it," said she, sententiously, and con- 
tinued her work. 

And from that day forth they all journeyed together, and one of 
them was very happy, and some were far more than happy ; and 
Aunt Dinah was anxious, even beyond her wont. 



2o4 BAURIXOTON'. 



CHAPTER XXTX. 



THE RAMBLE. 



Day after day, week al'ter week i-olled on, aiul they still rair.bled 
about among the picturesque old villages on the Moselle, almost 
losing themselves in quaint unvisited spots, whose very names were 
new to them. To 13arrington and his sister this picture of a pri- 
mitive peasant life, with its own types of costume and custom, had 
an indescribable charm. Though debari'ed, from his ignorance of 
their dialect, of anything like intercourse with the people, he followed 
them in all their ways with intense interest, and lie would pass hours 
in the marlcet-place, or stroll through tlie fields watching the strange 
culture, and wondering at the very implements of their labour. And 
the young people all tliis while ? They were never separate. They 
read, and walked, and sat together from dawn to dark. They called 
each other Fifineand Freddy. Sometimes she sang, and he was there 
to listen ; sometimes he drew, and she was as sure to be leaning over 
him in silent wonder at his skill, but witli all this tliere was no love- 
making between them — that is, no vows were uttered, no pledges 
asked for. Confidences, indeed, they interchanged, and without end. 
She told the story of her friendless infancy, and the long dreary years 
of convent life passed in a dull routine that had almost barred the 
heart against a wish for cliange ; and he gave her the story of his 
more splendid existence, charming her imagination with a picture of 
liiat glorious Eastern life, which seemed to possess an instinctive 
captivation for her. And at last he told her, but as a great secret 
never to be revealed, how his father and her own liad been the dearest, 
closest friends ; that for years and years they had lived together like 
brothers, till separated by the accidents of life. Jler father went 
away to a long distant station, and Ids remained to hold a high mili- 
tary charge, from which he was now relieved and on his way back to 
Europe. " AVhat happiness for you, Freddy," cried she, as licr eyes 
ran over, " to see him come home in honour. AVhat had I given 
that such a fate were mine." 

For an instant he accepted her words in all their flattery, but the 
hypocrisy was brief; her over-full heart was bursting for sympathy, 
and lie was eager to declare that his sorrows were scarcely less than 



IS.VlIiaNC'.TON. 2-Mj 

lier owu. " No, rifine," said lie, " iny father is coming back to de- 
maud salisfactiou of a Government that has -wronged him, and treated 
him with tlie worst ingratitude. In that Indian life men of statiou 
wield an almost boundless power, but if they are irresponsible as to 
the means, they are tested by the results, and whenever an adverse 
issue succeeds they fall irrevocably. What my father may have 
done, or have left undone. I know not. I have not the vaguest clue 
to his present difficulty, but, with his high spirit and his proud heart, 
that he would resent the very shadow of a reproof, I can answer 
for, and so I believe, what many tell me, that it is a mere question of 
personal feeling — some small matter in which the Council have not 
shown him the deference he felt his due, but which his haughty nature 
would not forego." 

Now these confidences were not love-making, nor anything ap- 
proaching to it, and yet Josephine felt a strange half-pride in think- 
ing that she had been told a secret which Conyers had never revealed 
to any other; that to her he had poured forth the darkest sorrow of 
his heart, and actually confided to her the terrors that beset him, for 
he owned that his father was rash and headstrong, and if he deemed 
himself wronged would be reckless in his attempt at justification. 

"Ton do not come of a very patient stock, then," said she, 
smiling. 

" Not very, Fifine." 

" Nor I," said she, as her eyes flashed brightly. " My poor Ayah, 
who died when I was but five years old, used to tell me such tales of 
my father's proud spirit, and the lofty way he bore himself, so that I 
often fancy I have seen him and heard him speak. Tou have heard 
he was a Kajah ?" asked she, with a touch of pride. 

The youth coloured deeply as he muttered an assent, for he knew 
that she was ignorant of the details of her father's fate, and he dreaded 
any discussion of her story. 

" And these Rajahs," resumed she, " are really great Princes, with 
power of life and death, vast retinues, and splendid armies. To my 
mind, they present a more gorgeous picture than a small European 
sovereignty with some vast Protectorate looming over it. And now 
it is my uncle," said she, suddenly, " who rules there." 

"I have heard that your own claims, Fifine, are in litigation," said 
he, with a faint smile. 

" Not as to the sovereignty," said she, with a grave look, half re- 
bukeful of his levity. " The suit grandpapa prosecutes in my be- 
half is for my mother's jewels and her fortune : a woman cannot 
reign in the Tannanoohr." 



236 BAKKINGTON. 

There was a liaiiglity defiance in her voice as she spoke, that 
seemed to say, " Tliis is a theme I will not suffer to be treated lightly 
— beware how you tranagress here." 

" And yet it is a dignity would become you well," said lie, 
seriously. 

" It is one I would glory to possess," said she, as proudly. 

" AVould you give me a high post, Fifine, if you w^ere on the throne ? 
— would you make me Commander-in-Chief of your army P" 

" More likely that I would banish you from the realm," said she, 
witli a haughty laugh ; " at least, until you learned to treat the head 
of the state more respectfully." 

" Have I ever been wanting in a proper deference ?" said he, bow- 
ing, with a mock humility. 

" If you had been, Sir, it is not, now, that you had first heard of it," 
said she, with a proud look ; and for a few seconds it seemed as though 
their jesting was to have a serious ending. She was, however, the 
earliest to make terms, and in a tone of hearty kindliness said, 
" Don't be angry, Freddy, and I'll tell you a secret. If that theme 
be touched on, I lose my head : whether it be in the blood that 
circles in my veins, or in some early teachings that imbued my child- 
hood, or long dreaming over what can never be, I cannot tell, but 
it is enough to speak of these things, and at once my imagination 
becomes exalted and my reason is routed." 

" I have no doubt your Ayah was to blame for this ; she must have 
filled your head with ambitions, and hopes of a grand hereafter. Even 
I, myself, have some experiences of this sort, for as my father held a 
high post and was surrounded with great state and pomp, I grew at 
a very early age to believe myself a miglity personage, and gave my 
orders with despotic insolence, and suffered none to gainsay me." 

" How silly !" said she, with a supercilious toss of her head that 
made Conyers flush up ; and once again was peace endangered 
between them. 

" You mean, that what was only a fair and reasonable assumption 
in you, was an absurd pretension in one. Miss Barriugtou ; is it not 
so ?" asked he, in a voice tremulous with passion. 

" I mean, that we must both have been very naughty children, and 
the less we remember of that childhood, the better for us. Are we 
friends, Freddy ?" and she held out her hand. 

" Tes, if you wish it," said he, taking her hand half coldly in his 
own. 

" iS'ot that way. Sir. It is 7 who have condescended ; not ?/o?f." 



:iJAi{itixoTON'. 2'J7 

"As you please, Pifine — will tins do; and kneeling with well-as- 
sumed reverence, he lifted her hand to liis lips." 

" If my opinion were to be asked, Mr. Conyers, I would say it 
would vot do at all," said Miss Dinah, coming suddenly up, her 
cheeks criuison, and her eyes flashing. 

" It was a little comedy we were acting. Aunt Dinah," said the 
girl, calmly. 

" I beg, then, that the piece may not be repeated," said she, stiffly. 

" Considering how ill Freddy played his part, aunt, he will scarcely 
regret its withdrawal." 

Conyers, however, could not get over his confusion, and looked 
perfectly miserable for very shame. 

" My brother has just had a letter which will call us homeward, 
Mr. Conyers," said Miss Dinah, turning to him, and now using a 
tone devoid of all irritation. " Mr. Withering has obtained some in- 
formation which may turn out of great consequence in our suit, and 
he wishes to consult with my brother upon it." 

" I hope — I sincerely hope — you do not think " he began, in 

a low voice. 

" I do not think anything to your disadvantage, and I hope I never 
may," replied she, in a whisper low as his own ; " but bear in mind, 
Josephine is no finished coquette like Polly Dill, nor must she be the 
mark of little gallantries, however harmless. Josephine, grandpapa 
has some news for you ; go to him." 

" Poor Preddy," whispered the girl in the youth's ear as she passed, 
" what a lecture you are in for." 

" Tou mustn't be angry with me if I play Duenna a little harshly, 
Mr. Conyers," said Miss Dinah ; " and I am far more angry with my- 
self than you can be. I never concurred with my brother that ro- 
mance-reading, and a young Dragoon for a companion, were the most 
suitable educational means for a young lady fresh from a convent, 
and I have only myself to blame for permitting it." 

Poor Conyers was so overwhelmed that he could say nothing, for 
though he might, and with a safe conscience, have answered a direct 
charge, yet against a general allegation he was powerless. He could 
not say that he was the best possible companion for a young lady, 
though he felt, honestly felt, that he was not a bad one. He had 
never trifled with her feelings, nor sought to influence her in his 
favour. Of all flirtation, such as he would have adventured with 
Polly Dill, for instance, he was guiltless. He respected her youth 
and ignorance of life too deeply to take advantage of either. He 



23S BAKKiMiTo::. 

tliouglit, perhaps, liow uiigeiierous it would have been for a man of 
the world like liimselt' to entrap the aftections of a young, artles^s 
<;reature, almost a child in her iauoccnce. He was rather fond of 
imagining himself" a man of the world," old soldier, and what not — a 
delusion which somehow very rarely befals any but very young men, 
nnd of which the experience of life from tliirty to forty is tlie sove- 
reign remedy. And so overwhelmed and confused and addled was 
lie with a variety of sensations, he heard very little of what Miss 
Dinah said to him, though that worthy lady talked very fluently and 
very well, concluding at last with words which awoke Conyers from 
his half trance with a sort of shock. '■ It is for tliese reasons, my 
dear Mr. Conyers — reasons whose force and nature you will not dis- 
pute — that I ani forced to do what, were the occasion less important, 
would be a most ungenerous task. I mean, I am forced to relinquish 
all the pleasure that I had promised ourselves from seeing you our 
guest at the cottage. If you but knew the pain I feel to speak these 
words " 

" There is no occasion to say more, ]Madam," said he ; for un- 
fortunately so unprepared was lie lor the announcement, its chief 
effect was to wound his pride. '"It is the second time within a lew 
months destiny has stopped my step on your threshold. It only re- 
mains for me to submit to my fate, and not adventure upon an 
enterprise above my means." 

" You are offended with me, and yet you ought not," said slie, 
sorrowfidly ; '• you ought to feel that I am consulting j/oter interests 
fully as much as ours." 

" I own, Madam," said he, coldly, '' I am unable to take the view 
you have placed before me." 

" Must I speak out, then ? — must I declare my meaning iu all its 
matter-of-fact harshness, and say that your family and your friends 
would have little scruple in estimating the discretion which en- 
couraged your intimacy with my niece — the son of the distinguished 
and liighly favoured General Conyers with the daughter of the 
ruined George Earrington ? These are hard words to say, but I have 
said them." 

'■ It is to my father you are unjust now, Miss Ixarrington." 

" ]N"o, Mr. Conyers ; there is no injustice in believing that a father 
loves liis son with a love so large that it cannot exclude even world- 
Hness. There is no injustice in believing that a proud and successful 
man would desire to see his son successful too ; and we all know 
what we call success. I see you are A'cry angry with me. You 
tliink me very worldly and very small-minded ; perhaps, too, you 
would like to say that all the perils I talk of are of my own in- 



UARK,i>iGTO>'. 2:39 

veuting ; that Pifiue aud you could bo the best of friends, and never 
think of more than friendship ; aud that I might spare my anxieties, 
aud not iret for sorrows that liave no existence ; — and to all this 1 
would answer, I'll not risk the chance. Xo, Mr. Conyers, I'll be no 
party to a game wliere tlie stakes are so unequal. "Wiiat might give 
\}on a month's sorrow might cost lier the misery of a life-long." 

" I liave no clioicc left me. I will go — I will go to-night, ]Miss 
Barrington." 

'■ Perhaps it would be better," said she, gravely, aud walked slowly 
away. 

I will not tell the reader what harsh and cruel things Conyers said 
of every one aud everything, uor how severely he railed at the world 
and its ways. Lord Byron had taught the youth of that age a very 
hearty and wholesome contempt for all manner of convenlionalities, 
into which category a vast number of excellent customs were in- 
cluded, and Conyers could spout "Manfred" by heart, aud imagine 
liimself, on very small provocation, almost as great a man-hater ; an.d 
so he set ofl' on a long walk into the forest, determined not to appear 
at dinner, and equull}' determined to be the cause of much inquiry, 
and, if possible, of some uneasiness. " I wonder what that old 
maid" — alas for his gallantry, it was so he called her — '• what she 

would say if her harsh, ungenerous words had driven me to " 

wliat he did not precisely define, though it was doubtless associated 
with snow peaks and avalanches, eternal solitudes and demoniac 
possessions. It might, indeed, have been some solace to him had he 
known how miserable and anxious old Peter became at his absence, 
and how incessantly he questioned every one about him. 

" I hope that no mishap has befallen that boy, Dinah ; he was 
always punctual. I never knew him stray away in this fashion 
before." 

" It would be rather a severe durance, brother Peter, if a young 
gentleman could not prolong his evening walk without permis- 
sion." 

'• Wiiat says Eifine ? I suspect she agrees with me." 

'' If tliat means that he ought to be here, grandpapa, I do." 

" I must read over AVithering's letter again, brother," said Miss 
Dinah, by way of changing the subject. " He writes, you say, from 
the Home ?" 

" Yes ; he was obliged to go down there to searcli for some papers 
he wanted, and he took Stapvltou with liim ; and he says they had 
two capital days at the partridges. They bagged — egad ! I think it 
was eight or ten brace before two o'clock, the Captain or Major. 
I forget whicli, being a first-rate shot." 



210 BABRIXGTON. 

'• What dees lie say of the place — bow is it looking ?" 

*• lu perfect beauty. Tour deputy, Polly, would seem to have 
fulfilled her part admirably. The garden in prime order — and that 
little spot next your own sitting-room, be says, is positively a better 
flower-show tban one be paid a sbilling to see in Dublin. Polly her- 
self, too, comes in for a very warm sbare of bis admiration." 

" How did be see ber, and wbere ?" 

"At tbe Home. She was there tbe evening they arrived, and 
AVithering insisted on ber presiding at tbe tea-table for tbem." 

" It did not require very extraordinary entreaty, I will make bold 
to say, Peter." 

" He does not mention tbat ; be only speaks of her good looks, and 
wbat be calls ber very pretty manners. In a situation not devoid of 
a certain awkwardness, be says she displayed tbe most perfect tact ; 
and altbough doing tbe bonours of tbe bouse, sbe, witb some very 
nice ingenuitj^ insinuated tbat sbe was berself but a visitor." 

" Sbe could scarce bave forgotten berself so far as to think any- 
Miing else, Peter," said Miss Dinab, bridling up. " I suspect ber 
very pretty manners were successfully exercised. Tbat old gentle- 
man is exactly of tbe age to be fascinated by ber." 

" "What ! Witbering, Dinab — do you mean "Witbering ?" cried he, 
laughing. 

" I do, brotber; and I say tbat be is quite capable of making ber 
the offer of bis band. You may laugb, Peter Barrington, but my 
observation of young ladies bas been closer and finer tban yours.'' 
And tbe glance sbe gave at Josepbine seemed to say tbat ber gun 
bad been double sbotted. 

" But your remark, sister Dinab, ratber addresses itself to old 
gentlemen tban to young ladies." 

" Who are mucb tbe more easily read of the two," said sbe, tartly. 
" But really, Peter, I will own tbat I am more deeply concerned to 
know wbat Mr. Witbering has to say of our lawsuit than about Polly 
Dill's attractions." 

" He speaks very bopefully — very bopefully indeed. In turning 
over George's papers some Hindoo documents bave come to light, 
wbicb Stapylton bas translated, and it appears that there is a certain 
Moonshee, called Jokeeram, wbo was, or is, in tbe service of Meer 
Rustinn, whose testimony would avail us mucb. Stapylton inclines 
to think be could trace this man for us. His own relations are prin- 
cipally in Madras, but be says tbat be could manage to institute in- 
quiries in Bengal." 

" Wbat is our claim to this gentleman's interest for us, Peter?" 



UAKRIMOTUJ^T. 241 

" Mere kindness on bis part ; lie never knew Grcorge, except from 
hearsay. Indeed, they could not have been contemporaries. Sta- 
pylton is not, I should say, above five-aud-thirty." 

" The search after this creature with the horrid name will be, of 
course, costly, brother Peter. It means, I take it, sending some one 
uut to India ; that is to say, sending one fool after another. Are you 
prepared for this expense ?" 

*' Withering opines it would be money well spent. What he say3 
is this : The Company will not willingly risk another inquiry before 
Parliament, and if we show fight and a firm resolve to give the case 
publicity, they will probably propose terms. This Moonshee had 
been in their service, but was dismissed, and his appearance as a 
witness on our side would occasion great uneasiness." 

" You are going to play a game of brag, then, brother Peter, well 
aware that the stronger purse is with your antagonist?" 

" Not exactly, Dinah ; not exactly. We are strengthening our 
position so far that we may say, ' You see our order of battle, would 
it not be as well to make peace P' Listen to what Withering says." 
And Peter opened a letter of several sheets, and sought out the 
place he wanted. " Here it is, Dinah. 'Prom one of these Hindoo 
papers we learn that Eam Shamsoolah Sing was not at the Meer'a 
residence during the feast of the Ehamadan, and could not possibly 
have signed the document to which his name and seal are appended. 
Jokeerara, who was himself the Moonshee interpreter in Luckerabad, 
writes to his friend Cossieu Aga, and says ' " 

'• Brother Peter, this is like the Arabian Nights in all but the 
entertainment to me, and the jumble of these abominable names only 
drives me mad. If you flatter yourself that you can understand one 
particle of the matter, it must be that age has sharpened your faculties, 
that's all." 

" I'm not quite sure of that, Dinah," said he, laughing. " I'm 
half disposed to believe that years are not more merciful to our 
brains than to our ankles ; but I'U go and take a stroll in the shady 
alleys under the linden-trees, and who knows how bright it will 
make me !" 

" Am I to go with you, grandpapa ?" said the young girl, rising. 

" No, Pifine ; I have something to say to you here," said Miss 
Dinah ; and there was a significance in the tone that was anytliing 
but reassuring. 



2AJb BAllRlNOTOir. 



CHAPTER XXX. 



r N D F u THE L I iJ L' £ :;. 



That shady alley uuder tlie linden-trees was a very favourite walk 
with Peter Barrington. It was a nice cool lane, with a brawling little 
rivulet close beside it, with here and there a dark silent pool for the 
dragon-fly to skim over and see his bronzed wings reflected in the still 
water ; and there was a rustic bench or two, where Peter used to sit 
and fancy he was meditating, while, in reality, he was only watching 
a speckled lizard in the grass, or listening to the mellow blackbird 
over his head. I have had occasion once before to remark on the 
resources of the man of imagination, but I really suspect that for the 
true luxury of idleness there is nothing like the temperament devoid 
of fancy. There is a grand breadth about those quiet peaceful minds 
over which no shadows flit, and which can find sufiicient occupation 
through the senses, and never have to go "within" for their resources. 
These men can sit the livelong day and watch the tide break over a 
rock, or see the sparrow teach her young to fly, or gaze on the bee as 
he dives into the deep cup of the foxglove, and actually need no more 
to fill the hours. For them there is no memory with its dark by- 
gones ; there is no looming future with its possible misfortunes ; 
there is simply a half-sleepy present, with soft sounds and sweet 
odours through it — a balmy kind of stupor, from which the awaking 
comes without a shock. 

"When Barrington reached his favourite seat, and lighted his cigar 
— it is painting the lily for such men to smoke — he intended to have 
thought over tlie details of Witheriug's letter, which were both 
curious and interesting; he intended to consider attentively certain 
points which, as Withering said, " he must master before he could 
adopt a final resolve;" but they were knotty points, made knottier, 
too, by hard Hindoo words for things unknown, and names totally 
unpronounceable. He used to think that he understood " George's 
cxaim " pretty well ; lie had fancied it was a clear and very intelligiide 
case, that half a dozen honest men might have come to a decision on 
in an hour's time ; but new he began to have a glimmering perception 
that George must have been cgregiout^ly duped and basely betrayed, 
and that the Company were not altogether unreasonable iu assuming 



BAUKINGTON. 243 

their distrust of him. Now, all these considerations coming dowu 
upon him at once, were overwhelming, and they almost stunned him. 
Even his late atten)pt to enlighten his sister Dinah on a matter he so 
imperfectly understood now recoiled upon him, and added to his own 
mystification. 

"Well, well," muttered he, at last, "I hope Tom sees his way 
through it " — Tom was "Withering — " and ii 7ie does there's no need 
of my bothering 7711/ head about it. What use would there be in 
lawyers if they hadu't got faculties sharper than other folk ? and as 
to ' making tip my mind,' my mind is made up already, that I want 
to win the cause if he'll only show me how." From these musings 
he was drawn off by watching a large pike — the largest pike, he 
thought, he had ever seen — which would from time to time dart out 
from beneath a bank, and, after lying motionless in the middle of 
the pool for a minute or so, would, with one whisk of its tail, skim 
back again to its hiding-place. " That fellow has instincts of its 
own to warn him," thought he ; " he knows he wasn't safe out there. 
Jle sees some peril that J cannot see ; and that ought to be the way 
with Tom, for, after all, the lawyers are just pikes, neither more nor 
less." At this instant a man leaped across the stream, and hurriedly 
passed into the copse. "What! Mr. Conyers — Conyers, is that 
you ?" cried Barrington, and the young man turned and came towards 
him. "I am glad to see you all safe and sound again," said Peter; 
" we waited dinner half an hour for you, and have passed all the time 
since in conjecturing what might have befallen you." 

" Didn't Miss Barrington say — did not Miss Barrington know " 

he stopped in deep confusion, and could not finish his speech. 

" My sister knew nothing — at least, she did not tell me any reason 
for your absence." 

" No, not for my absence," began he once more in the same embar- 
rassment; "but as I had explained to her that I was obliged to leave 
this suddenly — to start this evening " 

" To start this evening ! and whither ?" 

" I cannot tell ; I don't know — that is, I have no plans." 

" My dear boy," said the old man, affectionately, as he laid his hand 
on the other's arm, " if you don't know where you are going, take my 
word for it there is no such great necessity to go." 

" Tes, but there is," replied he, quickly ; " at least. Miss Barring- 
ton thinks so, and at the time we spoke together she made me believe 
she was in the right." 

"And are you of the same opinion noio?^^ asked Peter, with a 
humorous drollery in his eye. 

b2 



24-1 BAItKIXGTOX. 

" I am — tlut is, I was a few moments back. I mean, that whenever 
I recal the words she spoke to me, I feel their full conviction." 

" Come, now, sit down here beside me ; it can scarcely be anything 
I may not be a party to. Just let me hear tlie case like a judge in 
clianiber" — and he smiled at an illustration that recalled his favourite 
passion. '" I won't pretend to say my sister has not a wiser head — 
as I well know she has a far better heart — than myself, but now and 
then she lets a prejudice, or a caprice, or even a mere apprehension, 
run away with her, and it's just possible it is some whim of this kind 
is now uppermost." 

Conyers only shook his head dissentingly, and said nothing. 

"May be I guess it — I suspect that I guess it," said Peter, with a 
sly drollery about his mouth. " My sister has a notion that a young 
man and a young woman ought no more to be in propinquity than 
saltpetre and charcoal. She has been giving me a lecture on my 
blindness, and asking if I can't see this, that, and the other; but, 
besides being the least observant of mankind, I'm one of the most 
hopeful as regards whatever I wish to be. Now we have all of us 
gone on so pleasantly together, witb suclx a thorough good under- 
standing — such loyalty, as the Trench would call it — that I can't, 
for the life of me, detect any ground for mistrust or dread. Haven't 
I hit the blot, Conyers — eh ?" cried he, as the young fellow grew 
redder and redder, till his face became crimson. 

" I assured Miss Barrington," began he, in a faltering, broken voice, 
" tliat I set too much store on the generous confidence you extended 
to me to abuse it; that, received as I was. like one of your own blood 
and kindred, I never could forget the frank trustfulness with which 
you discussed everything before me, and made me, so to say, ' One of 
you.' The moment, however, that my intimacy suggested a sense of 
constraint, I felt the whole charm of my privilege would have departed, 
and it is for this reason I am going !" The last word was closed with 
a deep sigh, and he turned away his head as he concluded. 

" And for this reason you shall not go one step," said Peter, slapping 
him cordially on the shoulder. " I verily believe that women think 
the world was made for nothing but love-making, just as the crack 
engineer believed rivers were intended by Providence to feed navi- 
gable canals ; but you and I know a little better, not to say that a 
young fellow with the stamp gentleman indelibly marked on his fore- 
head would not think of making a young girl fresh from a convent — 
a mere child in the ways of life — the mark of his attentions. Am I 
not right F' 

"I hope and believe you are!" 



BAEKINGTON. 245 

" Stay where you are, thcu; be liappy, and help us to feel so; and 
the only pledge I ask is, that whenever you suspect Dinah to be a 
shrewder observer and a truer prophet than her brother — you under- 
stand me — you'll just come and say, 'Peter Barrington, I'm oil"; 
good-by !' " 

" There's my hand on it," said he, grasping the old man's with 
warmth. '* There's only one point — I have told Miss Earrington 
that I would start this evening." 

" She'll scarcely hold you very closely to your pledge." 

" But, as I understand her, you are going back to Ireland ?" 

"And you are coming along with us. Isn't that a very simple 
arrangement ?" 

" I know it would be a very pleasant one." 

" It shall be, if it depend upon me. I want to make you a fisher- 
man, too. When I was a young man, it was my passion to make 
every one a good horseman. If I liked a fellow, and found out 
that he couldn't ride to hounds, it gave me a shock little sliort of 
hearing that there was a blot on his character, so associated in my 
mind had become personal dash and prowess in the field with every 
bold and manly characteristic. As I grew older, and the rod 
usurped the place of the hunting-whip, I grew to fancy that your 
angler would be the truest type of a companion ; and if you but 
knew," added he, as a glassy fulness dulled his eyes, " what a flat- 
tery it is to an old fellow when a young one will make a comrade 
of him — what a smack of bygone days it brings up, and what 
sunshine it lets in on the heart, take my word for it, you young 
fellows are never so vain of an old companion as we are of a young 
one ! "What are you so thoughtful about ?" 

" I was thinking how I was to make this explanation to Miss 
Barrington." 

" You need not make it at all ; leave the whole case in my hands. 
My sister knows that I owe you an ' amende,' and a heavy one. Let 
this go towards a part payment of it. But here she comes in search 
of me. Step away quietly, and wlien we meet at the tea-table all will 
have been settled." 

Conyers had but time to make his escape, when Miss Barrington 
came up. 

" I thought I should find you mooning down here, Peter," said she, 
sharply. " Whenever there is anything to be done or decided on, a 
Barrington is always watching a fly on a fish-pond." 

" Not the women of the family, Dinah — not the women. But what 
great emergency is before us now ?" 



240 15AKRIXUTOX. 

" No great emergency, as yoii ])hrase it, at all, but wliat to men 
like yourself is frequently just as tryiug — an occasion that requires a 
little tact. I have discovered — what I long anticipated has come 
to pass — Conyers and Fifine are on very close terms of intimacy, 
which might soon become attachment. I have charged him with it, 
and he has not altogether denied it. On the whole he has behaved 
well, and he goes away to night." 

" I have just seen him, Dinah. I got at his secret, not without a 
little dexterity on ray part, and learned what had passed between you. 
We talked the thing over very calmly together, and the upshot is — 
he's not going." 

" Not going ! not going ! after the solemn assurance he gave 
me !" 

"But of which I absolved him, sister Dinah; or, rather, which I 
made him retract." 

" Peter ]?arriugton, stop !" cried she, holding her hands to her 
temples. " 1 want a little time to recover myself. I must have time, 
or I'll not answer for my senses. Just reply to one question. I'll 
ask you, have you taken an oath — are you under a vow to be the 
ruin of your family ?" 

" I don't think I have, Dinah. I'm doing everything for the 
best." 

" If there's a phrase in the language condemns the person that 
uses it, it's ' Doing everything for the best.' What does it mean but 
a blind, uninquiring, inconsiderate act, the work of a poor brain and 
sickly conscience ? Don't talk to me. Sir, of doing for the best, but do 
the best, the very best, according to the lights that guide you. Tou 
know well, perfectly well, that Pifine has no fortune, and that this 
young man belongs to a very rich and a very ambitious family, and 
that to encourage what might lead to attachment between them 
would be to store up a cruel wrong and a great disappointment." 

" My dear Dinah, you speak like a book, but I don't agree with 
you." 

" You don't. Will you please to state why ?" 

" In the first place, Dinah, forgive me for saying it, but we men do 
not take your view of these cases. We neither think that love is as 
catching or as dangerous as the small-pox. AA^e imagine that two 
young people can associate together every day and yet never contract 
a lien that might break their hearts to dissolve." 

" TaLking politics together, perhaps ; or the state of the Three per 
Cents. ?" 

" Not exactly that, but talking of fifty other things that interest 



EAEEINGTOK. 247 

their time of life and teinpers. Have tliey not songs, drawings, 
ilowers, landscapes, and books, with nil their thousand incidents, to 
discuss ? Just remember what that writer who calls himself ' Author 
of Waverley' — what he alone has given ns of people to talk over just 
as if we knew them." 

" Brother Peter, I have no patience with you. You enumerate 
one by one all the ingredients, and you disparage the total. Ton 
It'll of the flour, and the plums, and the suet, and the candied lemon, 
but you cry out against the pudding! Don't you see that the very 
themes you leave for them all conduce to what you ignore, and that 
your music, and painting, and romance-reading, only lead to love- 
making ? Don't you see this, or are you in reality — I didn't want to 
say it, but you have made me — are you an old fool ?" 

" I hope not, Dinah ; but I'm not so sure you don't think me 
one." 

" It's nothing to the purpose whether I do or not," said she; "the 
(][uestion is, have you asked this young man to come back with us to 
Ireland ?" 

" I have, and he is coming." 

" I could have sworn to it," said she, with a sudden energy ; "and 
if there was anything more stupid, you'd have done it also." And 
wdth this speech, more remarkable for its vigour than its politeness, 
she turned away and left liim. 

Ere I close the chapter and the subject, let me glance, and only 
glance, at the room where Conyers is now standing beside elosephine. 
She is drawing, not very attentively or carefully, perhaps, and he is 
bending over her and relating, as it seems, something that has 
occurred to him, and has come to the end with the words, " And 
though I was to have gone this evening, it turns out that now I am 
to stay and accompany you to Ireland." 

" Don't sigh so painfully over it, however," said she, gravely, "for 
when you come to mention how distressing it is I'm sure they'll let 
you off." 

" Fifine," said he, reproachfully, " is this fair ? is this generous ?" 

" I don't know whether it be unfair, I don't want it to be 
generous," said she, boldly. 

" In point of fact, then, you only wish for me here to quarrel with, 
is that the truth ?" 

" I think it better fun disagreeing with you than always saying 
how accurate you are, and how wise, and how well-judging. That 
atmospliere of eternal agreement chokes me ; I feel as if I were sufFo- 
catinsr." 



248 BAKEINGTOK. 

" It's not a veiy liappy temperament ; it's not a disposition to 
boast of." 

" Tou never did hear me boast of it ; but I have beard you very 
vaiu-glorions about your easy temper and your facile nature, which 
"were simply indolence. Kow, I have had more than enough of that 
in the convent, and I long for a little activity." 

" Even if it were hazardous ?" 

" Even if it were hazardous," echoed she. " But here comes Aunt 
Dinah, with a face as stern as one of the sisters, and an eye that re- 
minds me of penance and bread and water, so help me to put up my 
drawings, and say nothing of what we were talking." 

" INJy brother has just told me, Mr. Conyers," said she, in a whisper, 
" a piece of news which it only depends upon you to make a most 
agreeable arrangement." 

" I trust that you may count upon mc, Madam," said he, in the 
same tone, and bowed low as he spoke. 

" Then come with me and let us talk it over," said she, as she 
took his arm and led him away. 



CHAPTEE XXXI. 

FIFINE AND POLLY. 

Tdere are a few days in our autumnal season — very few and rare ! 
— when we draw the curtain against the glare of the sun at breakfast, 
and yet, in the evening, are glad to gather around the cheerful glow 
of the fire. These arc days of varied skies, with fleecy clouds lying 
low beneath a broad expanse of blue, with massive shadows on the 
mountains, and here and there over the landscape tips of sunlight 
that make the meanest objects pictures ; and, with all these, a breezy 
wind that scatters the yellow leaves and shakes the tree-tops, while 
it curls the current of the bright river into mimic Avaves. The 
sportsman will tell you that on such days the birds are somewhat 
wild, and the angler will vow that no fish will rise to the fly, nor is it 
a scent-lying day for the harriers ; and yet, with all this, there is a 
spring and elasticity in the air that impart themselves to the tem- 
perament, so that the active grow energetic, and even the indolent 
feel no touch of lassitude. 

It was on the morning of such a day that Barriugton, with his sister 
and granddaughter, drew nigh the Home. Conyers had parted with 



BAKRINGTON. 210 

them at Diibliu, wliere his regiment was now stationed, but was to 
follow in a day or two. All the descriptions — descriptions wliich liad 
taken the shape of warnings — which they Iiad given Josephine of the 
cottage could not prevent her asking at each turn of the road if that 
large house yonder, if that sombre tower over the trees, if that mas- 
sive gate-lodge were not theirs ? "I know this is it, grandpapa," 
said she, clapping her hands witli delight as they came opposite a low 
wall within which Jay the spacious lawn of Cobham Park, a portion of 
the house itself beiijg just visible through the trees ; " don't tell me, 
aunt," cried she, "but let me guess it." 

" It is the seat of Sir Charles Cobham, child, one of tlie richest 
baronets in the kingdom." 

" There it is at last — there it is !" cried she, straining out of the 
carriage to see the handsome portico of a very large building, to 
which a straight avenue of oaks led. up from the high road. " My 
heart tells me, aunt, that this is ours !" 

" It was once on a time, Fifine," said the old man, with a 
quivering voice, and a glassy iilm over bis eyes ; " it was once ; but 
it is so no longer." 

" Barrington Hall has long ceased to belong to us," said Miss 
Dinah ; " and after all the pains I have taken in description, I 
cannot see how you could possibly confound it with our little 
cottage." 

The young girl sat back without a word, and whether from disap- 
pointment or the rebuke, looked forth no more. 

" We are drawing very near, now, Fifiue," said the old man, after 
a long silence, which lasted fully two miles of the way. " Where you 
see the tall larches yonder — not there — lower down, at the bend of 
the stream ; those are our trees. I declai'e, Dinah, I fancy they have 
grown since we saw them last." 

" I have no doubt you do, Peter ; nor that you will find the cottage 
far more commodious and comfortable than you remembered it." 

" Ah, they've repaired that stile, I see," cried he ; " and very well 
they've done it, without cutting away the ivy. Here we are, darling ; 
here we are !" and he grasped the young girl's hands in one of his, 
while he drew the other across his eyes. 

" They're not very attentive, I must say, brother Peter, or they 
would not leave us standing, with our own gate locked against us." 

" I see Darby running as fast as he can. Here he comes !" 

" Oh, by the powers, ye'r welcome home, your honour's reverence, 
and the mistresses !" cried Darby, as he fumbled at the lock, and 
then failing in all his efforts — not very wonderful, seeing that he had 



250 BAl^EI^'GTO^^ 

taken a wrong key — lie seized a buge stone, and smashing the pad- 
lock at a blow, threw wide the gate to admit them. 

" Tou are initiated at once into our Irish ways, Fifme," said Miss 
Barrington. " All that you will see here is in the same style. Let 
tliat be repaired this evening, Sir, and at your own cost," whispered 
she to Darby, into whose band at the same moment Peter was 
pressing a crown piece. 

" 'Tis the light of my eyes to see your honours home again ! 'Tis 
like rain to tlie new potatoes what I feel in my heart, and looking so 
fresh and well, too ! And the young lady, she isn't " 

From what dread anticipation Darby's sudden halt saved him the 
expression is not for me to say, but tliat Peter Barrington guessed 
it is probable, for he lay back in the carriage and shook with 
laughter. 

" Drive on. Sir," said JMiss Dinah to the postilion, " and pull up 
at the stone cross." 

" Tou can drive to the door now, Ma'am," said Darby, " the whole 
way ; jNIiss Polly had the road made while you were away." 

"What a clever girl! Who could have thought it?" said Bar- 
rington. 

" I opine that we might bav6 been consulted as to the change. On 
a matter as important as this, Peter, I think our voices might have 
been asked." 

" And how well she has done it, too !" muttered he, half aloud; 
" never touched one of those copper beeches, and given us a peep of 
the bright river through the meadows." 

As the carriage rolled binskly along. Darby, who trotted alongside, 
kept up a current narrative of the changes eftected during their 
absence. 

" The ould pigeon-house is tuck down, and an iligant new one put 
up in the island ; and the calves' paddock is thrown into the flower- 
garden, and there's a beautiful flight of steps down to the river, 
paved with white stones — sorrow one isn't white as snow." 

" It is a mercy we had not a sign over the door, brother Peter," 
whispered Miss Dinah, '■ or this young lady's zeal would have had it 
emblazoned like a shield in heraldry." 

" Oh, how lovely, how beautiful, how exquisite !" cried Josephine, 
as they came suddenly round the angle of a copse and directly in 
front of the cottage. 

i^oT was the praise exaggerated. It was all that she had said. 
Over alight trellis-work, carried along under the thatch, the roses and 
jessamine blended with the clematis and the passion-flower, forming 



BABEINGTOK. 251 

a deep cave of flowers, drooping in heavy festoons across the spaces 
between the windows, and meeting the geraniums which grew below. 
Through the open sashes the rooms might be seen, looking more like 
beautiful bowers than the chambers of a dwelling-house. And overall, 
in sombre grandeur, bent the great ilex-trees, throwing their grand 
and tranquil shade over the cottnge and the little grass-plot and even 
the river itself, as it swept smoothly by. There was in the stillness 
of that perfumed air, loaded with the sweet-briar and the rose, a 
something of calm and tranquillity ; while in the isolation of the spot 
there was a sense of security that seemed to fill up the measure of the 
young girl's hopes, and made her exclaim with rapture, " Oh, this 
indeed is beautiful !" 

" Tes, my darling Fifine !" said the old man, as he pressed her to 
his heart ; " your home, your own home ! I told you, my dear child, 
it was not a great castle, no fine chfi.teau, like those on the Meuse 
and the Sambre, but a lowly cottage, witli a thatched roof and a 
rustic porch." 

" In all this ardour for decoration and smartness," broke in Miss 
Dinah, "it would not surprise me to find that the peacock's tail had 
been picked out in fresh colours and varnished." 

" Faix ! your honour is not far wrong," interposed Darby, who 
bad an Irish tendency to side with the majority. " She made us 
curry and wash ould Sheela, the ass, as if she was a race-horse." 

" I hope poor Wowsky escaped," said Barrington, laughing. 

" That's what he didn't ! He has to be scrubbed with soap and 
Yv'ater every morning, and his hair divided all the way down his 
back, like a Christian's, and his tail looks like a bunch of switch 
grass." 

" That's the reason he hasn't come out to meet me ; the poor 
fellow is like his betters — he's not quite sure that his altered condi- 
tion improves him." 

" You have at least one satisfaction, brother Peter," said Miss 
Dinah, sharply; "you find Darby just as dirty and uncared for as 
you left him." 

" By my conscience, there's a another of us isn't much changed 
since we met last," muttered Darby ; but in a voice only audible to 
himself. 

" Oh, wh.at a sweet cottage ! "What a pretty summer-house !" cried 
Josephine, as the carriage swept round the copse, and drew short up 
at the door. 

" This summer-house is your home, Fifine," said Miss Barrington, 
tartlv. 



252 1>AKR1NGT0>". 

"Home! home! Do }ou mean lliat we live here — live here 
always, aunt ?" 

" Most distiuctly I do," said she, descending and addressing her- 
self to other cares. " Where's Jane ? Take these trunks round by 
the back door. Carry this box to the green-room — to Miss Jose- 
phine's room," said she, with a stronger stress on the words. 

" "Well, darling, it is a very humble, it is a very lowly," said Bar- 
rington, '' but let us see if we cannot make it a very happy home ;" 
but as he turned to embrace her she was gone. 

" I told you so, brother I'eter — I told you so, more than once ; but 
of course you have your usual answer, ' We must do the best we 
can !' which simply means, doing worse than we need do." 

Barrington was in no mood for a discussion; he was too happy to 
be once more at home to be ruffled by any provocation his sister 
could give him. AVlierever he turned, some old familiar object met 
his eye and seemed to greet him, and he bustled in and out from his 
little study to the garden, and then to the stable, where he patted old 
Eoger ; and across to the cow-house, where Maggie knew him, and 
bent her great lazy eyes softly on him ; and then down to the river- 
side, where, in gilt letters, " Josephine" shone on the trim row-boat he 
had last seen half rotten on the bank ; for Polly had been there too, 
with her thoughtful good nature, forgetting nothing which might 
glad them on their coming. 

^Meanwhile, Josephine had reached her chamber, and locking the 
door, sat down and leaned her head on the table. Though no tears 
fell i'rom her eyes, her bosom heaved and fell heavily, and more than 
one deep sigh esi;aped her. AVas it disappointment that had so over- 
come her ? Had she fancied something grander and more preten- 
tious than this lonely cottage ? AVas it that Aunt Dinah's welcome 
was wanting in affection ? AVhat revulsion could it be that so sud- 
denly overwhelmed her ? Who can tell these things, who can explain 
how it is that, without any definite picture of an expected joy, ima- 
gination will so work upon us that reality will bring nothing but a 
blank ? It is not that the object is less attractive than is hoped for, 
it is simply that a dark shadow has passed over our own hearts — the 
sense of enjoyment iiad been dulled, and we are sad without a reason. 
If we underrate the sorrows of our youth — and this is essentially one 
of them — it is because our mature age leaves us nothing of that 
temperament on which such afflictions preyed. 

Josephine, without knowing why, without even a reason, wished 
herself back in the convent. There, if there was a lile of sombre 
monotony and quietude, tliere was at least companionship — she had 



KAHUINUTON. 253 

associates of lier own age. They had pursuits in common, shared the 

same liopes, and wislies, and fears ; but here, but here Just as 

lier thoughts had carried her so far, a tap — a very gentle tap — came to 
the door. Josephine heard it, but made no answer. It was repeated 
a little louder, and then a low pleasing voice she had never heard 
before, said, " May I come in ?" 

" No," said Josephine — " yes — that is — who are j'ou ?" 

" Polly Dill," was the answer ; and Josephine arose and unlocked 
the door. 

" Miss Barrington told me I might take this liberty," said Polly, 
with a flint smile. " She said, ' Go, and make acquaintance for 
yourself, I never play master of the ceremonies.' " 

" And you are Polly — the Polly Dill I have heard so much of?" 
said Josephine, regarding her steadily and fixedly. 

" How stranded your friends must have been for a topic when 
they talked of ;«e," said Polly, laughing. 

" It is quite true you have beautiful teeth — I never saw such beau- 
tiful teeth," said Josephine to herself, while she still gazed earnestly 
at her. 

"And you," said Polly, "are so like what I had pictured you — 
what I hoped you would be. I find it hard to believe I see you for 
the first time." 

" So, then, i/ott, did not think the Eajah's daughter should be a 
Moor ?" said Josephine, half haughtil3\ " It is very sad to see 
what disappointments I had caused." Neither the saucy toss 
of the head, nor the tone that accompanied these words, were lost 
upon Polly, who began to feel at once that she understood the 
speaker. 

" And your brother," continued Josephine, " is the famous Tom 
Dill I have heard such stories about ?" 

" Poor Tom, he is anything rather than famous." 

" "Well, he is remarkable ; he is odd, original, or whatever you 
would call it. Fred told me he never met any one like him." 

" Tom might say as much of Mr. Couyers, for in truth no one ever 
showed him such kindness." 

" Pred told me nothing of that ; but perhaps," added she, with a 
flashing eye, " you were more in his confidence than I was." 

" I knew very little of Mr. Conyers ; I believe I could count on 
the fingers of one hand every time I met him." 

" How strange that you should have made so deep an impression, 
Miss Dill !" 

" I am flattered to hear it ; but more surprised than flattered." 



25 i BAKEIN-GTON. 

" But I don't wonder at it in the least," said Josephine, boldly. 

" Ton are very liandsome, yon are very graceful, and then " she 

hesitated and grew confused, and stammered, and at last said, "and 
then there is that about you which seems to say, ' I have only to wish, 
and I can do it.' " 

" I have no such gift, I assure you," said Polly, with a half sad 
smile. 

" Oh, I know you are very clever •, I have heard how accomplished 
you were, how beautifully you rode, how charmingly you sang. I 
Avish he had not told me of it all — for if — for if " 

" If what ? say on!" 

" If you were not so superior to me, I feel that I could love you," 
and then with a bound she threw her arms around Polly's neck, and 
clasped her aflectionately to her bosom. 

Sym[>athy, like a fashionable physician, is wonderfully successful 
where there is little the matter. In the great ills of life, when the 
real afflictions come down to crush, to wound, or to stun us, we are 
comparatively removed from even the kindest of our comforters. 
Great sorrows are very selfish things. In the lighter maladies, how- 
ever, in the smaller casualties of fortune, sympathy is a great remedy 
and we are certain to find that, however various our temperaments, 
it has a sort of specific for each. Now Josephine Barrington had 
not any great cares upon her heart ; if the balance were to be struck 
between them, Polly Dill could have numbered ten, ay twenty, for 
her one, but she thought hers was a case for much commiseration, 
and she liked commiseration, for there are moral hypochondrias as 
well as physical ones. And so she told Polly how she had neither 
father nor mother, nor any other belongings than " dear old grandpapa, 
and austere Aunt Dinah ;" that she had been brought up in a convent, 
never knowing one of the pleasures of youth, or her mind being per- 
mitted to stray beyond the dreary routine of prayer and penance. Of 
music she knew nothing but the solemn chants of the organ, and 
even flowers w^e to her eyes but the festal decorations of the high 
altar ; and, lastly, she vaguely balanced between going back to the 
dismal existence of the cloister, or entering upon the troubled sea of 
life, so full of perils to one unpractised and unskilled as she was. 
Now Polly was a very pretty comforter through these afflictions; 
her own home experiences were not all rose-coloured, but the 
physician who whispers honeyed consolations to the patient, has 
often the painful consciousness of a deeper malady within than that 
for which he ministers. Polly knew something of a life of struggle 
and small fortune, with its daily incident of debt and dun. She 
knew what it was to see moiv^'^'- mix itself with every phase of ex- 



BAKIHAGTON. 255 

iBtence. throwing its damper over joy, arresting the hand of bcnevo 
lencc, eveu deuying to the sick-bed the little comforts that help to 
cheat misery. She knew how penury can eat its canker into the 
heart till all tilings take the colour of thrift, and life becomes at last 
the terrible struggle of a swimmer storm-tossed and weary ; and yet, 
with all this experience in her heart, she could whisper cheerful coun- 
sels to Josephine, and tell her that the world had a great many pleasant 
paths through it, though one was occasionally footsore before reach- 
ing them ; and in this way they talked till they grew very fond of 
each other, and Josephine was ready to confess that the sorrow 
nearest to her heart was parting with her. '' But must you go, 
dearest Polly — must you really go?" 

" I must indeed," said she, laughing; "for if I did not, two little 
sisters of mine would go supperless to bed, not to speak of a small 
boy who is waiting for me with a Latin grammar before him ; and the 
cook must get her orders for to-morrow ; and papa must have his tea ; 
and this short, stumpy little key that you see here unlocks the oat- 
bin, without which an honest old pony would share in the family 
fast ! so that, all things considered, my absence w^ould be far from 
advisable." 

"And when shall we meet again, Polly ?" 

" Not to-morrow, dear ; for to-morrow is our fair at Inistioge, and 
I have yarn to buy, and some lambs to sell." 

" And could you sell lambs, Polly ?" said Josephine, with an ex- 
pression of blank disappointment in her face. 

Polly smiled, but not without a certain sadness, as she said, " There 
are some sentimentalities which, to one in my condition, would just 
be as unsuitable as Brussels lace or diamonds. They are born of 
luxury and indolence, and pertain to those w hose existence is assured 
to them ; and my own opinion is, they are a poor privilege. At all 
events," added she, rapidly, "they are not for me, and I do not 
wish for them." 

" The day after to-morrow, then, you will come here — promise me 
that." 

" It will be late, then, towards evening, for I have made an en- 
gagement to put a young horse in harness — a three-year-old, and a 
sprightly one, they tell me — so that I may look on the morning as 
filled. I see, my dear child, how shocked you are with all these un- 
ladylike cares and duties ; but poor Tom and I used to weld our lives 
together, and while I took my share of boat-building one day, he 
helped me in the dairy the day after; but now that he is gone, our 
double functions devolve upon me." 
** H<rw happy you must be !" 



2ou BA.ltRINOTOK. 

" I think I am ; at least, i Imvc no time to spare for uniiappi- 
nesg." 

"If I could but change with yon, l*olIy!" 

" Change what, my dear child ?" 

'' Condition, fortune, belongings — everything." 

" Take my word for it, you are just as well as you are ; but I sup- 
pose it's very natural for one to fancy he could carry another's burden 
easier than his own, for it was only a few moments back I thought 
how I should like to be you." 

"To be me — to be me !" 

" Of course I was wrong, dearest. It was only a passing, fleeting 
thought, and I now see how absurd I was to wish to be very beautiful, 
dearly loved, and afl'ectionately cared for, with a beautiful home to 
live in, and every hour free to be happy. Ob, what a sigh, dearest, 
what a sigh ! but I assure you I have ray calamities too ; the mice 
have got at the seeds in my onion-bed, and I don't expect to see one 
come up." 

If Josepiiine's first impulse was to feel angry, her next was to 
laugh out, which she did heartily ; and passing her arm fondly round 
Polly's waist, she said, "I'll get used to your raillery, Polly, and 
not feel sore at it ; but remember, too, it's a spirit I never knew 
before." 

" How good and generous, then, to bear it so well," said Polly, 
affectionately; "your friend Mr. Conyers did not show the same 
])atience." 

"You tried him, then ?" said Josephine, with a half eager glance. 

" Of course ; I talked to him as I do to every one. But there goes 
your dinner-bell." Checking herself on a reflection over the pretension 
of this summons of three people to a family meal in a cottage, Poliy 
tied on her bonnet and said " Good-by.*' 



BAREINGTON. 257 



CHAPTER XXXI r. 



AT HOME AGAIN. 



TlIE Biirringtons hud not been quite a fortnight settled in their 
home, when a note came from Conyera, lamenting, in most t'celiiig 
terms, that he could not pay them his promised visit. If the epistle 
was not very long, it was a grumble from beginning to end. " No- 
body would know," wrote he, " it was the same regiment poor Colonel 
Hunter commanded. Our Major is now in command — the s:ime 
Stapylton you have heard me speak of; and if we never looked on 
him too fiivourably, we now especially detest him. His first step was 
to tell us we were disorderly, ill dressed, and ill disciplined ; but we 
were even less prepared to hear that we could not ride. The result 
of all this is, we have gone to school agaia — even old captains, who 
have served with distinction in the field, have been consigned to the 
riding-house; and we poor subs are treated as if we were the last 
refuse of all the regiments of the army, sent here to be retbrmed and 
corrected. We have incessant drills, parades, and inspections, ant), 
worse again, all leave is stopped. If I was not in the best of temper 
with the service before, you may judge how I feel tow'ards it now. 
In fact, if it were not that I expect my father back in England by the 
middle of May, I'd send in my papers and leave at once. How I Jail 
back now in memory to the happy days of my ramble with you, and 
wonder if I ever shall see the like again. And how I hate myself for not 
having felt at the time how immeasurably delightful they were ! Tru.st 
nie never to repeat the mistake if I have the opportunity given me. 
I asked this morning for three days — only three — to run down and 
see you once more before we leave — for we are ordered to Hounslow 
— and I was refused. But this was not all : not content with rejecting 
my request, he added what he called an expression of astonishment 
that an officer so deficient in his duties should care to absent himself 
from regimental discipline." 

" Poor boy ! — this is, indeed, too bad," said Miss Dinah, as she had 
read thus far; " only think, Peter, how thiii young fellow, spoiled and 
petted as he was as a child — denied nothing, pampered as tliougli he 
were a Prince — should now find himself the mark of so insuiiiug 
a tyranny. Are you listening to me, Peter Barrington ?" 



258 BAEBIXGTON. 

" Eh — what ? No, thank you, Dinah ; I have made an excelient 
breakfast," said Barrington, liurriedly, and again addressed himself 
to the letter he was reading. "• Tliat's what I call a Trump, Diuali — 
a regular Trump." 

" AVho is the especial favourite that has called for the very choice 
eulogy ?" said she, bridling up. 

" Gone iuto the thing, too, with heart and soul — a noble fellow!" 
continued Barrington. 

" Pray enlighten us as to the name that calls forth such enthu- 
siasm." 

" Stapylton, my dear Dinah — Major Stapylton. In all my life 1 
do not remember one instance to parallel with this generous and 
disinterested conduct. Listen to what "Withering says — not a man 
given to take up rash impressions in favour of a stranger. Listen to 
this : ' Stapylton has been very active — written to friends, both at 
Calcutta and Agra, and shown, besides, an amount of acuteness in 
pursuit of what is really important, that satisfies me a right good 
common lawyer has been lost by his being a soldier.' And here, 
again, he recurs to him ; it is with reference to certain documents : 
' S. persists in believing that witb proper diligence these may be 
recovered ; he says that it is a common practice with the Mooushees 
to retain papers, in the hope of their being one day deemed of value ; 
and he is fully persuaded that they have not been destroyed. There 
is that about the man's manner of examining a question — his patience, 
his instinctive seizure of what is of moment, and his invariable rejec- 
tion of whatever is immaterial ; and, lastly, his thorough appreciation 
of the character of that evidence which would have most weight with 
the India Board, which dispose me to regard him as an invaluable ally 
to our cause.' " 

" Do me the favour to regard this picture of your friend now," said 
Miss Barrington, as she liandcd the letter from Conyers across the 
table. 

Barrington read it over attentively. "And what docs this prove, 
my dear sister ?" said he. " This is the sort of stereotyped complaint 
of every young fellow who has been refused a leave. I have no doubt 
Hunter was too easy-tempered to have been strict in discipline, and 
the chances are these young dogs had evt-rything their own way till 
Stapylton came amongst them. I find it hard to believe that any 
man likes unpopularity." 

" Perhaps not, Peter Barrington ; but he may like tyranny more 
than he bates unpopularity ; and, ibr my own part, tliis man is odious 
to me." 



tAllRINQTON. 259 

" Don't say so, Diuali — don't say so, I entreat of you, for ho will be 
our guest here this very day." 

'' Our guest ! — why, is not tlie regiment under orders to leave ?" 

" So it is ; but Withering says it would be a great matter if we 
could have a sort of consultation together before the Major leaves 
Ireland. There are innumerable little details which he sees ought to 
be discussed between us ; and so he has persuaded him to give us a 
day — perhaps two days — no small boon, Dinah, from one so fully 
occupied as he is." 

" I wish he w'ould not make the sacrifice, Peter." 

" My dear sister, are we so befriended by ^Fortune that we am 
afford to reject the kindness of our fellows ?" 

" I'm no believer in chance friendships, Peter Barrington ; neither 
you nor I are such interesting orphans as to inspire sympathy at first 
sight." 

Josephine could not help a laugh at Miss Dinali's illustration, and 
old Barrington himself heartily joined in the merriment, not sorry 
the while to draw the discussion into a less stern field. " Come, 
come, Dinah," said he, gaily, "let us put out a few bottles of that 
old Madeira in the sun ; and if Darby can liud us a salmon-trout, 
we'll do our best to entertain our visitors." 

" It never occurred to me to doubt the probability of their enjoying 
themselves, Peter ; my anxieties were quite on another score." 

" Now, Eifiue," continued Barrington, " we shall see if Polly Dill 
has really made you the perfect housekeeper she boasted. The next 
day or two wnll put your talents to the test." 

" Oh, if we could only have Polly herself here !" 

"What for? — on what pretext. Miss Barrington," said Dinah, 
haughtily. " I have not, so far as I am aware, been accounted very 
ignorant of household cares." 

*' Withering declares that your equal is not in Europe, Dinah." 

" Mr. Withering's sufirage can always be bought by a mock-turtle 
soup and a glass of Eoman punch after it." 

" How he likes it — how he relishes it ! He says that he comes 
back to the rest of the dinner with the freshness of a man at an 
assize case." 

" So like him !" said Dinah, scornfully ; " he has never an illustra- 
tion that is not taken from the Pour Courts. I remember one 
day, .when asking for the bill of fare, lie said, 'Will you kindly let 
inc look at the cause list.' Prepare yourself, Josephine, for an 
avalanche of law anecdotes and Old Bailey stories, for I assure you 
you will hear nothing for the next three days but drolleries that 

s2 



260 BAEKINGTON. 

liavo bccu ecgrossed on pardimriit ami paid slanip duly to 1;k> 
Crown." 

Barrington gave a smile, as though iu [)rutesfc agaiuist the speecii, 
and left the room. In truth, lie was very anxious to be alone, and 
to think over, at his leisure, a sliort passage in his letter wliieh he 
had not summoned courage to read aloud. It was AV'^ithering's 
opinion that to institute the inquiries in India a considerable sum of 
money would be required, and he had left it for Barringtou's consi- 
deration whether it were wiser to risk the great peril of tliis further 
involvement, or once more to try what chance there might be of a 
compromise. Who knows what success might have attended the 
suggestion if the old lawyer had but employed any other word ! 
Compromise, however, sounded to his ears like an unworthy con- 
cession — a surrender of George's honour. Compromise might mean 
money for his granddaughter, and shame to her father's memory. 
Not, indeed, that Withering was, as a man, one to counsel sucli a 
course, but W^itheriug was a lawyer, and in the same spirit that he 
would have taken a verdict for half his claim if he saw an adverse 
feeling in the jury-box, so he would bow to circumstances that were 
stronger than him, and accept tlie best he could, if he might not 
have all that he ought. But could Barrington take this yiew ? He 
thought not. His conviction was that the main question to establisli 
was the fair fame and honour of his son ; his guide was, how George 
liimself would have acted — would have felt — in the same contingency; 
and he muttered, "He'd have been a hardy fellow who would have 
hinted at compromise to him.'' 

The next point was how tlic means for the coming campaign were 
to be provided. He had already raised a small sum by way of mort- 
gage on the Home, and nothing remained but to see what further ad- 
vance could be made on the same security. AVhen Barrington was a 
great estated gentleman with a vast fortune at his command, it cost 
liim wonderfully little thought to contract a loan, or even to sell a 
farm. A costly election, a few weeks of unusual splendour, an 
unfortunate night at play, had made such sacrifices nothing very 
unusual, and he would give his orders on this score as unconcernedly 
as he would bid his servant replenish his glass at table. Indeed, he 
liad no more fear of exhausting liis fortune than he felt as to out- 
drinking his cellar. There was enough there, as he olten said, for 
those who should come after bin). And now, what a ciiange ! He 
Btood actually appalled at the thought of a mortgage for less than a 
thousand pounds. But so is it ; the cockboat may be more to a man 
than was once the three-decker. The cottage was his all now; that 



BAURINGTON. 2GI 

]osfc, and they were liouseless. AVas ifc not a bold tiling to risk 
everything on one more throw ? There was the point over which he 
now pondered as lie walked slowly along in the little shady alley be- 
tween the laurel hedges. He had no friend nearer his lieart than 
Withering, no one to whom he could unbosom himself so frankly and 
so freely, and yet this was a case on whicli he could not ask bis 
counsel. All his life long he bad strenuously avoided suffering a 
question of the kind to intervene between them. Of bis means, his 
resources, bis straits, or bis demands, AVithering knew positively 
nothing. Tt was witb Barrington a point of delicacy to maintain 
tliis reserve towards one who was always his lawj'er, and often bis 
guest. The very circumstance of bis turning innkeeper was regarded 
by Withering as savouring far more of caprice than necessity, and 
]3arrington took care to strengthen this impression. 

If, then, Witbering's good sense and worldly knowledge would 
have been invaluable aids to him in this conjunction, be saw be could 
not bave them. The same delicacy which debarred biin heretofore 
would still interpose against bis appeal to that authority. Andtlien 
be thought how be who had once troops of friends to whom he 
could address himself for counsel ? There is nothing more true, 
indeed, than tlie oft-nttered scoft" on the hoUowness of those friend- 
ships which attach to the days of prosperous fortune, and the world 
is verv prone to point to the utter loneliness of him who has been 
shipwrecked by Fate ; but let us be just in our severity, and let us 
own that a man's belongings, his associates, his, what common par- 
lance calls, friends, are the mere accidents of his station, and they no 
more accompany him in bis fall than do the luxuries he has forfeited. 
From the level from which he has lapsed they have not descended. 
They are, there, living to-day as they lived yesterday. If their sym- 
pathy is not with him, it is because neither are they tliemselves, 
they cross each other no more. Such fiiendships are like the con- 
tracts made with a crew for a particular voyage — they end with the 
cruise. No man ever understood this better than Barrington — no 
man ever bore the world less of ill will for its part towards himself. 
If now and then a sense of sadness would cloud him at some mark of 
passing forgelfulness, he would not own to the gloomy feeling ; while 
to any show of recognition, to any sign of a grateful remembrance of 
the past, he would grow boastful to very vanity. " Look tiiere, 
Dinah," he would say, " what a noble-liearted fellow that is. I 
scarcely was more than commonly civil to him formerly, and you saw 
how courteous he was in making a place for us, bow heartily he hoped 
I was in irood health." 



202 llAnillNOTOK. 

" I'll Hond over l.o Dill ;i)i(l Iiavo a iullc wiLli liiiii," was Barring- 
I,(iii'h last rt'Holvi^, hh lie turiied tlio Bubjocl, ovci- and over in liis 
iiiiiid. " Dill'tt a wlirowd fellow, and I'm not sure that lie liaa not laid 
I)y a little money ; iu; mi{;lit Ircd nnobjeetion to a good investment for 
it, willi Hiicli Hfciirity." And li(^ looked around a« lie Hpoke on tin; 
trecH, Hoine of wliicli Ii(» planted, (!very one of wliieli ho knew, and 
Hi(:;hed heavily. " He'll Hearco hive the npot more than I did," inut- 
tered he, and walked alon^ with his head down. After awhile Ik; 
took ont Wil hering'H letter* from his ])oeket and re-read it. Somehow, 
it were hard to way why, it did not read ho promisingly as at iirst. 
'I'he (liiriciill ics io he enconiitered vv(TO very stubborn ones, so much 
:io lh;it he very palpably hinted how much better some amicable set- 
llcniciil woidd b(! tiiiin an op(!n contest whei'ein legal subtlety and 
craft Hhould Ix; evoked. There was so much of that matter always 
taken for granted, to be proved — to be demonstrated true on evidence, 
that it actually lo(died appalling. " Of the searches and inquiries in- 
stiluted in India," wrote Withering, " I can speak but vaguely, but 
I. own the very distance magnilies Ihem immensely to my eyes." 
"Tom is growing old, ]iot a. doubt of it," muttered JJarrington ; 
"these were )iot the sort of obstacles that could have terrified him 
onc(! on a lime. He'd have said, ' If there's evidence, we'll have it; 
if there's a document, wc^'ll liiul it.' .It's India, tlu; I'ar-away land, 
that has I'i'ightcned him. 'i'hese lawyers, like certain sportsmen, lose 
their norvo if you lukc tlicm out of Iheii' own counlry. It's the new 
stylo of iV'Uces they cnn'l: I'mcc. Well, thanks to llim who gave it, 'I 
have my stout heart still, and I'll go on." 

"doing on" was, however, jKjt the eas}^ task it first seemed, nor 
was the jileasantest part of it the necessity of keeping the secret from 
his sihler. Miss Dinah had from the first discouraged the whole 
suit. The adversary was too powerful, the odda against them were 
too great ; the India Board had only to jiroiract and prolong the case, 
.•iiid /Iiri/ must be beaten from sheer exhaustion. How, then, should 
lu^ reconcile her to mortgaging the hist nMiinant, of all Iheir i'ortune 
lor " one more throw <ni the table F" " i\'o chance of persuading a 
wom.'in lliiit this would lit> wise," said he. And he thought, when he 
had liild the pnjudice of se.v as the ground of error, he had com- 
pleted his Jirgumeiil. 

" doing cm" had its fine generous side :ilii)ul il, :dso, that cheered 
;iiid clcvatrd him. It was for (Jcorge he w;is doing it, and that dear 
i;irl whose evei-y trail recalled her lather; for let those explain it who 
can, she, who IkkI never seen, nor even hi';ird of her father, since her 
inlaiiey, inherit tnl all his peculiiir \\:iys and h:ibi!s, mid evi'ry (rick of 



BAUniNOTON. 263 

his manner. Let mo own that these, even more than any qualities of 
sterlin"- worth, endeared her to licr grandfather ; and just as ho had 
often dechired no rank or position that could bcfal George would 
have been above his deserts, so he averred that if Josephine were 
to be the greatest heiress in England to-morrow, she would be a 
"■race and an ornament to the station. If Aunt Dinah would occa- 
sionally attempt to curb this spirit, or even limit its extravagance, his 
invariable answer was, " It may be all as you say, sister, but for the 
life of me I cannot think my swans to be geese." 

As he thus mused and meditated, he heard the wicket of the garden 
open and shut, and shortly afterwards a half shambling, shuliling 
step on the gravel. JBeforc he had time to speculate on whoso it 
should, be, he saw Major M'Cormick limping laboriously towards 
him. 

" llow is tliis, Major ?" cried he ; " has the change of weather dis- 
agreed with your rheumatism ?" 

" It's the wound ; it's always worse in the fall of the year," croaked 
the other. " I'd have been up to see you before but for the pains, and 
that old fool Dill — a greater fool myself for trusting him — made me 
put on a blister down what he calls the course of the nerve, and I 
never knew torture till I tried it." 

" My sister Dinah has, I verily believe, the most sovereign remedy 
for these pains." 

" Is it ihe green draught ? Oh, don't I know it," burst out the 
Major. " You might hear my shouts the day I took it down at 
Inistioge. There wasn't a bit of skin left on my lips, and when I 
wiped the perspiration oil" my head my hair came off too. Aquafortis 
Is like egg-flip compared to that blessed draught; and I remember 
well how I crawled to my writing-desk and wrote, ' Have me opened,' 
for I knew I was poisoned." 

" Did you tell my sister of your sufferings ?" 

" To be sure I did, and she only smiled and said that I took it when 
I was fasting, or when I was full, 1 forget which ; and that I ought 
to have taken a brisk walk, and I only able to creep ; and only cue 
spoonful at a time, and it was the whole bottle I swallowed. In 
fact, she owned afterwards that nothing but the strength of a horse 
could have saved me." 

Peter found it very hard to maintain a decent gravity at the play 
of the Major's features, which, during the narrative, recalled every 
dire experience of his medicine. 

" Well, come into the house, and we'll give you something better," 
said Earrington, at last. 



2G4 BAURINGTO?» 

" I tliiiik 1 saw your grandd:uii;liter at the window as I came by — 
a good-loukiiig young woman, and not so darli as I suspected sLe'd 
be." 

" There's not aliandsomorgirl in IreU^nd ; and as to skin, she's not 
as brown as her father." 

" It wouldn't be easy to be tliat ; lie was about three sbades deeper 
than a Portuguese." 

*' George Earrington was confessedly the finest-looking fellow in the 
King's army, and as ]i]nL;lish-lc)oking a gentleman as any man in it." 

Tlie tone of this speech was so palpably that of one who would not 
stand tlie very shadow of a rejoinder, that the Major held his peace, 
and slnifQed along without a word. The thought, however, of ad- 
ministering a rebuke to any one within the precincts of his home was 
so repugiumt to Barrington's nature, that he had scarcely uttered the 
words tl'.au he was eager to repair them, and with a most embarrassed 
humility he stammered out something about their recent tour abroad, 
and all the enjoyment it had given them. 

"May be so," rejoined the other, dryly; "but I never saw any 
pleasure in spending money you could keep." 

" My dear Major, that is precisely the very money that does pro- 
cure pleasure." 

" Wasn't that a post-chaise I saw through the trees ? There it is 
again ; it's making straight for the Home," said M'Cormick, pointing 
with his stick. 

" Yes," said Peter ; " I was expecting a couple of friends to pass 
a day or so with me here. "Will you excuse me if I hurry forward to 
welcome them ?" 

" Don't make a stranger of me ; I'll saunter along at my leisure," 
said the Major, as Earrington walked briskly ou towards the cottage 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 

A SMALL DINNER-PARTY. 



WiTHicmifO and Stapylton had arrived fully two hours earlier than 
they were expected, and Miss Dinah was too deeply engaged in the 
household cares that were to do them honour to receive them. Jo- 
U'phine, too, was not less busily occupied, for her conventual educa- 
tion had made her wonderfully skilful in all sorts of confectionary, 



BARRINGTON. 2G5 

and she was mistress of devices in spun sugar and preserved fruits, 
Avhicli rose in Aunt Dinah's eyes to the dignity of higli art. Bar- 
rington, however, was there to meet them, and witlj a cordial 
welcome which no man could express more gracefully. The luncheon 
hour passed pleasantly over, for all were in good humour and good 
spirits. AVitheriug's holiday always found biia ready to enjoy it, and 
when could old Peter feel so happy as when he had a guest beneath 
his roof who thoroughly appreciated the cottage, and entered into 
the full charm of its lovely scenery ! Such was Stapylton — he 
blended a fixir liking for the picturesque with a natural instinct for 
comfort and homeliness, and he saw ni this spot what precisely em- 
braced both elements. It was very beautiful — but, better still, it was 
very lovable. " It was so rare" — so at least he told Barrington — 
" to find a cottage wherein internal comfort had not been sacrificed 
to some requirement of outward show. Tliere was only one way of 
doing this," said he, as Barrington led him through the little flower- 
garden, giving glimpses of the rooms within as they passed — " only 
one way, Mr. Barrington ; a man must have consummate taste, and a 
strong credit at his banker's." 

Barriugtou's cheek grew a thought redder, and he smiled that 
faint sad smile which now and then will break from one who feels 
that he could rebut what he has just heard, if it were but right or 
fitting he should do so. Of course, amongst really distressing sensa- 
tions this has no place, but yet there is a peculiar pain in being com- 
plimented by your friend on the well-to-do condition of your fortune 
when your conscience is full of the long watching hours of the night, 
or worse still, the first awaking thought of difliculties to which you 
open your eyes of a morning. It is not often, nor are there many to 
whom you can say, " I cannot tell the day or the hour when all this 
shall pass away from me ; my head is racked with care, and my heart 
lieavy with anxiety." How jarring to be told of all the things you 
ought to do. You who could so well afiord it ! And how ti-ying to 
have to take shelter Irom your necessity under the shadow of a seem- 
ing stinginess, and to bear every reflection on your supposed thrift 
rather than own to your poverty ! 

If Withering had been with them as they strolled, this, perhaps, 
might have been avoided ; he had all a lawyer's technical skill to 
change a topic — but "Withering had gone to take his accustomed 
mid-day nap, the greatest of all the luxuries his times of idleness be- 
stowed upon him. 

Now, although Stapylton's alludings — and they were no more — to 
Harrington's gifts of fortune were such as perfectly consisted with 



266 i^AunintiTON. 

good taste and good breeding, Barriugton felt them all painfully, and 
probably nothing restrained liiiu from an open disclaimer of their 
fitness save the thoiiglit that from a host such an avowal would sound 
ungracefully. " It is my duty now," reasoned lie, "to make my guest 
feel that all the attentions he receives exact no saci'ifice, and that the 
pleasure his presence affords is unalloyed by a single embarrassment. 
If he must hear of my difilcultics, let it be when he is not beneath 
my roof." And so he let Stapylton talk away about the blessings of 
tranquil affluence, and the happiness of him whose only care was to find 
time for the enjoyments that were secured to him. lie let him quote 
Pope, and "Wharton, and Edmund Burke, and smiled the blandest con- 
currence with what was irritating him almost to fever. 

"This is Withering's favourite spot," said Peter, as they gained 
the shade of a huge ilex-tree, from whicli two distinct reaches of the 
river were visible. 

" And it shall be mine, too," said Stapylton, throwing himself 
down in the deep grass ; " and as I know you have scores of things 
which claim your attention, let me release you, while I add a cigar 
— the only possible enhancement — to the delight of this glorious 
nook." 

" AVell, it shall be as you wish. "We dine at six. I'll go and look 
after a fish for our entertainment ;" and Barrington turned away 
into the copse, not sorry to release his heart by a heavy sigli, and to 
feel he was alone with his cares. 

Let us turn for a moment to M'Cormick, who continued to saunter 
slowly about the garden, in the expectation of Barrington's return. 
W^earied at length with waiting, and resolved that his patience 
should not go entirely unrequited, he turned into a little shady walk 
on which the windows of the kitchen opened. Stationing himself 
there, in a position to see without being seen, he took what he called 
an observation of all within. Tlie sight was interesting, even if he 
did not bring to it the appreciation of a painter. There, upon a 
spacious kitchen table, lay a lordly sirloin, richly and variously 
coloured, flanked by a pair of plump guinea-hens and a fresh salmon 
of fully twenty pounds' weight. Luscious fruit and vegetables were 
heaped and mingled in a wild profusion, and the speckled plumage of 
game was half hidden under the massive bunches of great liot-house 
grapes. It is doubtful if Sneyders himself could have looked upon 
the display with a higher sense of enjoyment. It is, indeed, a ques- 
tion between the relative merits of two senses, and the issue lies be- 
tween the eye and the palate. 

Wisely reasoning that such preparations were not made for 



-;y '•• 







\. . 


• e 




zm\ 


'/I 


!, 






' r/^ .z/y^/uL 



I,:, /y/y 



BAREINGTOK. 267 

common guests, M'Cormick ran over in his mind all the possible 
and impossible names he could think of, ending at last with the con- 
viction it vi'as some " Nob" he must Lave met abroad, and whom in a 
moment of his expansive hospitality he had invited to visit him. 
"Isn't it like them !" muttered he. " It would be long before they'd 
think of sucli an entertainment to an old neighbour like myself; but 
here they are spending — who knows how mnch ? — for somebody that 
to-morrow or next day won't remember their names, or may be, per- 
haps, laugh when they think of the funny old woman they saw — the 
' Fright' with the yellow shawl and the orange bonnet. Oh, the 
world, the world !" 

It is not for me to speculate on what sort of thing the world had 
been, if the Major himself had been entrusted with the control and 
fiishion of it ; but I have my doubts that we are just as well off as we 
are. " Well, though they haven't the manners to say, ' M'Cormick, 
will you stop and dine ?' they haven't done with me yet ; not a bit 1" 
And with this resolve he entered the cottage, and found his way 
to the drawing-room. It was unoccupied, so he sat himself down in 
a comfortable arm-chair, to await events and their issue. There w^ere 
books and journals and newspapers about, but the Major was not a 
reader, and so he sat musing and meditating, while the time went 
by. Just as the clock struck five. Miss Dinah, whose various cares 
of housewifery had given her a very busy day, was about to have 
a look at the drawing-room before she went to dress, and being fully 
aware that one of her guests was asleep, and the other full stretched 
beside the river, she felt she could go her " rounds" without fear of 
being observed. Now, whatever had been the peculiar functions she 
was lately engaged in, they had exacted from her certain changes in 
costume more picturesque than flattering. In the first place, the 
sleeves of her dress were rolled up above the elbows, displaying arms 
more remarkable for bone than beauty. A similar curtailment of her 
petticoats exhibited feet and ankles which — not to be ungallant — 
might be called massive rather than elegant ; and lastly, her two long 
curls of auburn hair — curls which, in the splendour of her full 
toilette, were supposed to be no mean aids to her captivating powers 
— were now tastefully festooned and fastened to the back of her 
head, pretty much as a pair of hawsers are occasionally disposed on 
the bow of a merchantman ! Thus costumed, she had advanced into 
the middle of the room before she saw the Major. 

" A pleasure quite unexpected, Sir, is this," said she, with a 
vigorous elTort to shake out what sailors would call her " lower 
•courses." " I was not aware that you were here." 



2G8 IlA.UKlN(iTON. 

" Indeed, then, I came in myself, just like old times. I said this 
morning, if it's fine to-day, I'll just go over to the ' Fisherman's 
Home.' " 

" 'The ]Ioine, Sir,' it you please. "\Vc retain so much of the former 
name." But just as she uttered the correction, a chance look at the 
glass conveyed the condition of her head-gear — a startling fact which 
made her cheeks perfectly crimson. " I lay stress upon the change 
of name. Sir," continued she, "as intimating that we are no longer 
inn-keepers, and expect something, at least, of the deference rendered 
to those who call their house their own." 

"To be sure, and why not?" croaked out the Major, with a 
malicious grin. "And I forgot all about it, little thinking, indeed, 
to surprise you in ' dishabille,' as they call it." 

" You surprise )«e. Sir, every time we meet," said she, with flashing 
eyes. " And you make me feel surprised with myself for my en- 
durance !" And so saying, she retired towards the door, covering her 
retreat as she went by every object of furniture that presented itself, 
and, like a skilful general, defending her rear by every artifice of the 
ground. Thus did she exit, and with a bang of the door — as eloquent 
as any speech — close the colloquy. 

" Faix ! and the Swiss costume doesn't become you at all !" said 
the Major, as he sat back in his chair, and cackled over the scene. 

As Miss Barrington, boiling with passion, passed her brother's 
door, she stopped to knock. 

" Peter !" cried she. " Peter Barrington, I say !" The words were, 
however, not well out, when she heard a step ascending the stair. 
She could not risk another discovery like the last ; so, opening lln- 
door, she said, " That hateful M'Cormick is below. Peter, take caro 
that on no account " 

There was no time to finish, and she had barely an instant to gain 
her own room, when Stapylton reached the corridor. 

Peter Barrington had, however, heard enough to inform him of his 
sister's high behest. Indeed, he was as quick at inter[)reting brief 
messages as people have grown in these latter days of telegi'aphic 
communication. Oracular utterings had been more than once in his 
life his only instructors, and he now knew that he had been peremp- 
torily ordered not to ask the Major to dinner. 

There are, doubtless, people in this world — I almost fancy I have 
met one or two such myself — who would not have felt peculiar diffi- 
culty in obeying this command; who would have gone down to the 
drawing-room and talked coolly to the visitor, discussing common- 
places, easily and carelessly, noting the while how at every pause of 



HAUEiNoroN. 2G9 

the conversation each was dwelling on the self-aanio point, and yet, 
with a quiet abstinence, never touching it, till with a sigh, that was 
half a malediction, the uninvited would rise to take leave. Barring- 
ton was not of this number. The man who sat under his roof 
was sacred. He could have no faults ; and to sucli a pitch had thia 
punctilio carried him, that had an actual enemy gained the inside of 
his threshold, he would have spared nothing to treat him with honour 
and respect. 

"Well, well," muttered he, as he slowly descended tlie stairs, " it 
will be the first time in my life I ever did it, and I don't know how 
to go about it now." 

"When a frank and generous man is about to do something he is 
ashamed of, how readily will a crafty and less scrupulous observer de- 
tect it. M'Cormick read Barrington's secret before he was a minute in 
the room. It was in vain Peter affected an off-hand easy manner, in- 
cidentally dropping a hint that the Attorney- General and another 
friend had just arrived — a visit, a mere business visit it was — to be 
passed with law papers and parchments. " Poor fun when the par- 
tridges were in the stubble, but there was no help for it. AVho 
knew, however, if he could not induce them to give him an extra day, 
and if I can. Major, you must promise to come over and meet them. 
You'll be charmed with Withering, he has such a fund of agree- 
ability. One of the old school, but not the less deliglitful to you and 
me. Come, now, give me your word — for — shall wo say Saturday ? 
— Tes, Saturday !" 

" I've nothing to say against it," grumbled out M'Cormick, whose 
assent was given, as attorneys say, witliout prejudice to any other 
claim. 

" You shall hear from me in the morning, then," said Peter. " I'll 
send you a line to say what success I have had with my friends." 

"Anytime in tlie day Avill do," said the Major, unconcernedly ; 
for, in truth, the future never had in his estimation the same interest 
as the present. As for the birds in the bush, he simply did not 
believe in them at all. 

" IS'o, no," said Barriugton, hurriedly. " You shall hear from mo 
early, for I am anxious you should meet Withering and his compa- 
nion, too — a brother-soldier." 

" Who may he be ?" asked M'Cormick. 

" That's my secret, Major — that's my secret," said Peter, with a 
forced laugh, for it now wanted but ten minutes to six ; " but you 
shall know all on Saturday." 

Had he said on the day of judgm^Qt, tlie assurance would have 



270 BAERINGTON. 

been as palatable to M'Cormiek. Talking to him of Saturday on a 
Monday was asking him to speculate on tlie infinite. Meanwhile 
he sat on, as only they sit who understand the deep and high 
mystery of that process. Oh, if you who have your fortunes to 
make in life, without any assignable mode for so doing, without a 
craft, a calling, or a trade, knew what success there was to be 
achieved merely by sitting — by simply being "there," eternally 
" there" — a warning, an example, an illustration, a what you will, of 
boredom or infliction ; but still "there." Tlie butt of this man, the 
terror of that — hated, feared, trembled at — but yet recognised as a 
thing that must be, an institution that was, and is, and shall be, Avhen 
we are all dead and buried. 

Long and dreary may be the days of the sitter, but the hour of his 
reward will come at last. There will come the time when some one 
— any one — will be wanted to pair off with some other bore, to listen 
to his stories and make up his whist-table ; and then he will be 
"there." I knew a man who merely by sitting on patiently for 
years was at last chosen to be sent as a Minister and special Envoy to 
a foreign Court just to get rid of him. And for the women sitters — 
the Avcll-dressed and pi'ettily-got-up simperers, who have sat their 
husbands into Commissionerships, Colonial Secretaryships, and such- 
like — are they not written of in the Book of Beauty ? 

" Here's M'Cormiek, Dinah," said Barrington, with a voice shaking 
with agitation and anxiety, " whom I want to pledge himself to us 
for Saturday next. "Will you add your persuasions to mine, and see 
what can be done P" 

" Don't you think you can depend upon me ?" cackled out the 
Major. 

" I am certain of it, Sir; I feel your word like your bond on such 
a matter," said Miss Dinah. " My grand-niece, Miss Josephine Bar- 
rington," said she, presenting that young lady, who curtseyed formally 
to the unprepossessing stranger. 

" I'm proud of the honour. Ma'am," said M'Cormiek, with a deep 
bow, and resumed his seat ; to rise again, however, as Withering 
entered the room and was introduced to him. 

" This is intolerable, Peter," Avhispered Miss Barrington, while the 
lawyer and the Major were talking together. " You are certain you 
have not asked him ?" 

" On my honour, Dinah ! on my honour !" 

" I hope I am not late r" cried Stapylton, entering ; then, turning 
hastily to Barrington, said, " Pray present me to your niece." 

" This is my sister. Major Stapylton ; this is my grand-daughter ;" 



BAKKIT^OTON, 271 

and tiie ladies curtseyed, each with a degree of satisfaction wliieh the 
reader shall be left to assign tlicni. 

After a few words of common-place civility, uttered, however, witli 
a courtesy and tact which won their way for the speaker, Stapyltou 
recognised and shook hands with M'Cormick. 

" You know ray neighbour, then ?" said Barrington, in some sur- 
prise. 

" I am charmed to say, I do ; he owes me tlie denouement of a most 
amusing story, which was suddenly broken off when we last parted, 
but which I shall certainly claim after dinner." 

"He has been kind enough to engage himself to us for Saturday," 
began Dinah. But M'Cormick, who saw the moment critical, 
stepped in : 

" You siiall hear every word of it before you sleep. It's all 
about "Walchereu, though they think Waterloo more the fashion 
now." 

" Just as this young lady might fancy Major Stapyltou a more 
interesting event than one of us," said Withering, laugliing. " But 
what's become of your boasted punctuality, Barrington ? A quarter 
past — are you waiting for any one?" 

" Are we, Dinah ?" asked Barrington, with a look of sheepishness. 

" Not that I am aware of, Peter. There is no one to come f and 
she laid such an emphasis on the word as made the significance pal- 
pable. 

To Barrington it was painful as well as palpable ; so painful, indeed, 
that he hurriedly rang the bell, saying, in a sharp voice, " Of course, 
we are all here — there are six of us. Dinner, Darby 1" 

Tbe Major had won, but he was too crafty to show any triumph at 
his victory, and he did not dare even to look towards where Miss 
Barrington stood, lest he should chance to catch her eye. Dinner 
was at length announced. AVithering gave his arm to Miss Bar- 
rington, Stapyltou took charge of Josephine, and old Peter, plea- 
santly drawing his arm within M'Cormick's, said, " I hope you've got 
a good appetite. Major, for I have a rare fish for you to-day, and 
your favourite sauce, too — smelt, not lobster." 

Poor Barrington ! it was a trying moment for him that short walk 
into the dinner-room, and he felt very grateful to M'Cormick that he 
said nothing peevish or sarcastic to him on the way. Many a dinner 
begins in awkwardness, but warms as it proceeds into a pleasant 
geniality. Such was the case here. Amongst those, besides, who 
have not the ties of old friendship between them, or have not as yet 
warmed into that genial good-fellowship which is, so to say, its foster- 



1:7 1: IJARUlNGTOv 

brother, a cliiiracter ot" the M'ConnicIc class is uot so (laiiiagiiii^ an 
element as might be imagined, and at times there is a positive advan- 
tage in having cue of whose merits, by a tacit understanding, all are 
quite agreed. Withering and Stap) Iton both read the man at once, and 
drew out his salient points — his parsimony, his lualice, and his pry- 
ing curiosity — in A'arious ways, but so neatly and so advisedly as ta 
make liim fancy he was tlie attacking party, and very successful, too, 
m his assaults upon the enemy. Even Barringtou, in tlie honest 
simplicity of his nature, was taken in, and more than once thought that 
the old Major was too severe upon the others, and sat in wondering 
admiration of their self-command and good temper. No deception 
of this sort prevailed with Miss Barringtou, Avho enjoyed to the 
fullest extent the subtle raillery with which they induced him to 
betray every meanness of iiis nature, and yet never suflered the dis- 
closure to soar above the region of the ludicrous. 

" You have been rather hard upon them. Major," said Barringtou, 
as they strolled about on the green sward after dinner, to enjoy 
tlieir coffee and a cigar. " Don't you think you have been a shade 
too severe r" 

" It will do them good. Tiiey wanted to turn me out like a 
bagged fox, and shov\' the ladies some sport ; but I taught them a 
thing or two." 

"No, no, M'Cormick, you wrong tliera there; they Jiad no such 
intentions, believe me." 

" I know that you didn't see it," said he, with emphasis, " but 
your sister did, and liked it well besides ; ay, and the young one joined 
in the fun. And, after all, I don't see that they got much by the 
victory, for "Withering was not pleased at my little hit about the days 
wlien he used to be a Whig and spout liberal politics ; and the other 
liked just as little my remark about the fellows in the Company's 
service, and hovv' nobody knew who tlicy were or where tliey ame 
from. He was in the Madras army himself, but I pretended not to 
know it ; but I found his name written on the leaf of an old book he 
gave me, and the regiment he was in : and did you sec how he looked 
when I touched on it ? But here he comes now." 

" Make your peace with him, IM'Cormiclc, make your peace!" said 
Barringtou, as he moved away, not sorry, as ho went, to mark the easy 
familiarity with which Stapylton drew his arm within the other's, and 
walked along at his side. 

" Wasn't that a wonderful dinner we had to-day, from a man that 
hasn't a cross in his pocket ?" croaked out M'Cormii-k to StapyltcD. 

" Is it possible ?" 



BAKUINQTON. 273 

" Sherry and Madeira after your soup, then, Sauterne — a tiling I 
don't care for any more than the oyster patties it came with — cham- 
pagne next, and in tumblers, too ! Do you ever see it better done at 
your mess ? Or where did you ever taste a finer glass of claret ?" 

" It was all admirable." 

" There was onl}^ one thing forgotten — not that it signifies to ws." 

" And what might that be ?" 

" It wasn't paid for ! No, nor will it ever be !" 

" Tou amaze me. Major. My impression was that our friend here 
was, without being rich, in very comfortable circumstances ; able to 
live handsomely, while he carried on a somewhat costly suit." 

" That's the greatest folly of all," broke out M'Cormick ; "and 
it's to get money for that now that he's going to mortgage this place 
here — ay, the very ground under our feet!" And this he said with 
a sort of tremulous indignation, as though the atrocity bore especially 
hard upon them. " Kinshela, the attorney from Ivilkenny, was uj) 
Avith me about it yesterday. ' It's an elegant investment, INIajor,' 
says he, ' and you're very likely to get the place into your hands for 
all the chance old Peter has of paying off the charge. Ilis heart is in 
that suit, and he'll not stop as long as he has a guinea to go on 
with it.' " 

'' AVell, and what answer did you give him ?" 

" I said, ' I'd think of it ; I'd turn it over in my mind ;' for there's 
various ways of looking at it." 

" I fancy I apprehend one of them," said vStapylton, Avith a half- 
jocular glance at his companion. " Tou have been reflecting over 
another investment, eh ? Ami not right ? I remarked you at dinner. 
I saw how the young brunette had struck you, and I said to myself, 
' She has made a conquest already !' " 

" Not a bit of it; nothing of the kind," said M'Cormick, awkwardh'. 
" I'm too 'cute to be caught tliut way." 

" Yes, but remember it might be a very good catch. I don't speak 
of the suit, because I agree with you, the chances in that direction 
are very small indeed, and I cannot understand the hopeful feeling 
with which he prosecutes it; but she is a fine, handsome girl, very 
attractive in manner, and equal to any station." 

" And what's the good of all that to me ? Wouldn't it be better 
if she could make a peas-pudding, like Polly Dill, or know how to 
fatten a turkey, or salt down a side of bacon ?" 

" I don't think so — I declare, 1 don't think so," said Stapylton, as 
he lighted a fresh cigar. " These are household cares, and to be 
bought with money, and not expensively either. AVhat a man like 

T 



274 IJAllRINGTOIf. 

you or I wants is oue who should give a sort of tone — impart a degree 
of elegance to his daily life. We old bachelors grow into self-indul- 
gence — which is only another name for barbarism. AVith a mistaken 
idea of comfort, we neglect scores of little observances which consti- 
tute the small currency of civilisation, and without which all inter- 
.'ourse is unpleasing and vingraceful." 

" I'm not quite sure that I understand you aright ; but there's 
one thing I know, I'd think twice of it before I'd ask that young 
■woman to be Mrs. M'Cormick. And besides," added he, with a sly 
side-look, " if it's so good a thing, why don't you think of it for 
yourself?" 

" I need not tell an old soldier like you that full-pay and a 
wife are incompatible. Every Avise man's experience shows it, and 
when a fellow goes to the bishop for a license, he should send in his 
papers to the Horse Guards. Now, I'm too poor to give up my 
career. I have not, like you, a charming cottage on a river's bank, 
and a swelling lawn dotted over with my own sheep before my door. 
I cannot put off the harness." 

" Who talks of putting ofl' the harness ?" cried Withering, gaily, 
as he joined them. " Who ever dreamed of doing anything so ill- 
judging and so mistaken ? Why, if it were only to hide the spots 
where the collar has galled you, you ought to wear the trappings to 
the last. ISio man ever knew how to idle, w^ho hadn't passed all his 
life at it ! Some go so far as to say, that for real success a man's 
father and grandfather should have been idlers before him. But have 
jou seen Barrington ? He has been looking for you all over tlie 
grounds." 

"No," said Stapylton; "my old brother-officer and myself got 
into pipeclay and barrack talk, and strolled away down here uncon- 
sciously." 

" Well, we'd better not be late for tea," broke in the Major, " or 
we'll hear of it from Miss Dinah!" And there Avas something so 
comic in the seriousness of his tone, that they laughed heartily as 
they turned towards the bouse. 



r,AUKl>'GTON. 2.10 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 



A MOVE IN ADVANCE, 



How pleasantly did the next da}^ break on the " Home i" Polly 
Dill arrived in tlie best of possible spirits. A few lines from Tom 
had just reached tliem. They were written at sea; but the poor 
fellow's notions of latitude and longitude were so confused, that it 
was not easy to say from whence. They were cheery, however. He 
was in good health, his comrades were kind-hearted creatures, and 
evidently recognised in him one of a station above their own. He 
said that he could have been appointed hospital sergeant if he liked, 
but that whatever reminded him of his old calling was so distasteful, 
that he preferred remaining as he was, the rather as he was given to 
believe he should soon be a corporal. " Xot that I mean to stop 
there, Polly ; and now that I haven't got to study for it, I feel a 
courage as to the future I never knew before. Give rax love to Mr. 
Conyers, and say that I'm. never tired of thinking over the last night 
I saw him, and of all his good nature to me, and that I hope I'll see 
his father, some day or other, to thank him. I suppose father doesn't 
miss me ? I'm sure mother doesn't ; and it's only yourself, Polly, will 
ever feel a heavy heart for the poor castaway ! But cheer up ! for as 
sure as my name is Tom, I'll not bring discredit on you, and you'll 
not be ashamed to take my arm down the main street when wo 
meet. I must close now, for the boat is going. 

'• P.S. I dreamed last night you rode Sid Davis's brown mare over 
the Millrace at Graigue. AVouldu't it be strange if it came true ? 
I wish I could know it," 

" May I show this to my friend here, Polly?" said Barrington, 
pointing to "Withering. " It's a letter lie'd like to read ;" and as she 
nodded assent, he handed it across the breakfast-table. 

" "What is your brother's regiment, Miss Dill ?" said Stapylton, 
who had just caught a stray word or two of what passed. 

" The Porty-nintli." 

'• The Forty-ninth," said he, repeating the words once or twice, 

T 2 



27G HAREINOTON. 

" Let ine sec — don't I know some Forty-ninth men ? To be sure I 
do. Tliere's ]?opton and Hare. Tour brother will be delighted with 
Hare." 

" My brother is in the ranks, jNIajor Stapylton," said she, flusliing 
a deep scarlet ; and Barringtou quickly interposed, 

" It was the wild frolic of a young man to escape a profession he 
had no mind for." 

" But in foreign armies every one does it," broke in Stapylton, 
hurriedly. " No matter what a man's rank may be, he must carry 
the musket ; and I own I like the practice ; if for nothing else, for 
that fine spirit of ' camaraderie' which it engenders." 

Fifine's eves sparkled with pleasure at what she deemed the well- 
bred readiness of this speech, while Polly became deadly pale, and 
seemed with difficulty to repress the repartee that rose to her mind. 
Not so Miss Dinah, who promptly said, " No foreign customs can 
palliate a breach of our habits. We are English, and we don't desire to 
bo Frenchmen or Germans." 

" Might we not occasionally borrow from our neighbours with ad- 
vantage ?" asked Stapylton, blandly. 

" 1 agree with Miss Barrington," said Withering — " I agree with 
Miss Barrington, whose very prejudices are always right. An army 
formed by a conscription which exempts no man is on a totally 
different footing from one derived from voluntary enlistment." 

" A practice that some say should be reserved for marriage," said 
Barringtou, whose happy tact it was to relieve a discussion by a 
ready joke. 

They arose from table soon after; Polly to accompany Miss Bar- 
rington over the garden and the shrubberies and show all that had 
been done in their absence, and all that she yet intended to do, if ap- 
proved of; Withering adjourned to Barrington's study to pore over 
parchments ; and Stapylton, after vainly seeking to find Josephine in 
the drawing-room, the flower-garden, or the lawn, betook himself 
with a book, the first he could find on the table, to the river's side, and 
lay down, less to read than to meditate and reflect. 

A breezy morning of a fine day in early autumn, with slow sailing 
clouds above and a flickering sunlight on the grass below, beside a 
rippling river, whose banks are glowing with blue and purple heath- 
bells, — all these and a AVaverley novel were not enough to distract 
Stapylton from the cares that pressed upon his mind ; for so it is, 
iook where we may on those whom Fortune would seem to have made 
her especial favourites, and we shall find some unsatisfied ambition, 



>;ahi;in(JT()N. 



some craving wisli dooineil to disappointiuent, some hope deferred till 
the heart that held it has ceased to care for its accomplishment. To 
the uorld's eyes, here was a man eminently fortunate ; already high 
up in the service, witli healtli, vigour, and good looks, a reputation 
established for personal gallantry in the field, and an amount of 
capacity that had already won for him more than one distinction, 
and yet all these, great and solid advantages as they are, were not 
sufficient to give the ease of mind we call happiness. 

He liad debts, some of them heavy debts, but these sat lightly on 
him. He was one of those men creditors never crush, some secret 
consciousness seeming to whisper that however ill the world may go 
with them for a while, in the long run they must triumpli ; and thus 
Mr. Hiram Davis, to whom he ow'ed thousands, would have cashed 
him another bill to-morrow, all on the faith of that future which 
IStapylton talked about with the careless confidence of a mind as- 
sured. 

He had enemies, too — powerful and determined enemies — who op- 
posed his advancement for many a year, and were still adverse to him, 
but, like the creditors, they felt he was not a man to be crushed, and 
so he and his ill wishers smiled blandly when they met, exchanged the 
most cordial greetings, and even imparted little confidences of their 
several fortunes with all that well-bred duplicity which so simulates 
friendship. 

He had been crossed — no, not in love, but in his ambition to marry 
one greatly above him in station ; but her subsequent marriage had 
been so unfortunate, that he felt in part recompensed for the slight 
she passed upon him ; so that, taking it all and all. Fate had never 
been cruel to him without a compensation. 

There are men who feel their whole existence to be a hand-to-hand 
struggle with the world, who regard the world as an adversary to be 
worsted, and all whose efforts are devoted to reach that point upon 
which they can turn round and say, " You see that I have won the 
game. I was unknown, and I am famous ; I was poor, and I am 
rich ; I was passed over and ignored, and now the very highest are 
proud to recognise me !" Stapylton was one of these. All the egotism 
of Ids nature took this form, and it was far more in a spirit against 
liis fellows than in any indulgence of himself he fouglit and struggled 
with Fortune. Entrusted by Withering with much of the secret 
liistory of Barrington's claim against the India Company, l)e had 
learned considerably more through inquiries instituted by himself, 
and at length arrived at the conclusion tl)at if old Barrington could 



278 BAERINQTON. 

be persuaded to limit his demands within moderate bounds, and not 
insist upon tlie details of that personal reparation which he assumed 
so essential to his son's honour, a very ample recompense would not 
be refused liim. It was to induce Barrlngton to take this course 
Stapyltou had consented to come down with "Withering — so at least 
lie said, and so AYithcriug believed. Old lawyer that he was, with a 
hundred instincts of distrust about him, he had conceived a real liking 
I'or Stapylton, and a great confidence in liis judgment. " We shall 
have to divide our labours here, Major," said he, as they travelled 
along together ; " I will leave the ladies to your care, Barrington shall 
be mine." A very brief acquaintance with Miss Dinah satisfied 
Stapyltou that she was one to require nice treatment, and what he 
called "a very light hand." The two or three little baits he had 
thrown out took nothing ; the stray bits of sentimentality, or chance 
scraps of high-toned principle he had addressed to her, had failed. 
It was only when he had with some sharpness hit oif some small 
meanness in M'Coi'mick's nature that she had even vouchsafed him 
so much as a half smile of approval, and he saw that even then she 
■watched him closely. 

" No," said he, half aloud to himself, " that old woman is not one 
easily to be dealt with ; and the younger one, too, would have a will 
of her own if she had but the way to use it. If Polly had been in her 
place — the clever, quick-witted Polly — she would have gone with me 
in my plans, associated herself in all my projects, and assured their 
success. Oh for a good colleague just to keep the boat's head straight 
when one is weary of rowing!" 

" AVould I do ?" said a low voice near. And, on looking up, he saw 
Josephine standing over him, with an arch smile on her face as though 
she had surprised him in a confession. 

" How long have you been there ?" asked he, hurriedly. 

"A i'ew seconds." 

" And what have you heard me say ?" 

" That you wanted a colleague, or a companion of some sort, and 
as I was the only useless person here, I oflered myself." 

" In good faitii ?" 

" In good faith ! — why not ? 1 am more likely to gain by the as- 
sociation than you are ; at least, if you can only be as pleasant of a 
morning as you were yesterday at dinner." 

'' I'll try," f:iaid he, springing to his feet ; " and as a success in these 
eflbrts is mainly owing to the anaount of zeal that animates them, I 
am hopeful." 

" "Which means a fiattery at the outset," said she, smiling. 



O'. 




'''oY^la ■' / ^y-n 



BAlllllNGTOK. 270 

" Only as much as your friend Mr. Witheriug would throw out 
to dispose the court iu his favour ; and now, which way shall we 
w\ilk? Are you to he the guide, or I ?" 

*' You, hy all means, since you know nothing of the locality." 

" Agreed. Well, hero is my plan. "We cross the river in this hoat, 
and take that path yonder that leads up by the waterfall. I know, 
from the dark shadow of the mountain, that there is a deep glen, very 
wild, very romantic, and very solemn, through which I mean to con- 
duct you." 

" All this means a very long excursion, does it not ?" 

" Tou have just told me that you were free from all engage- 
ment." 

" Yes ; but not from all control. I must ask Aunt Dinah's leave 
before I set out on this notable expedition." 

" Do nothing of the kind. It would be to make a caprice seem a 
plan. Let us go where you will — here, along the river's side ; any- 
where, so that we may aflect to think that we are free agents, and 
not merely good children sent out for a walk." 

•' AVhat a rebel against authority you are, for one so despotic 
yourself" 

" I despotic ! "Who ever called me so ?" 

" Your officers say as much." 

" I know from what quarter that came," said he ; and his bronzed 
face grew a shade deeper. " That dilettante soldier, young Conyers, 
has given me this character ; but I'd rather talk of you than myself. 
Tell me all about your life. Is it as delightful as everything around 
would bespeak it ? Are these trees and flowers, this sunny bank, this 
perfumed sward, true emblems of the existence they embellish, or is 
Paradise only a cheat ?" 

" I don't think so. I think Paradise is very like what it looks, 
not but I own that the garden is pleasanter with guests in it than 
when only Adam and Eve were there. Mr. Withering is charming, 
and you can be very agreeable." 

" I would I knew how to be so," said he, seriously, '"just at this 
moment, for I am going away from Ireland, and I am very desirous 
of leaving a good impression behind me," 

" What could it signify to you how you were thought of in this 
lonely spot ?" 

" More than you suspect — more than you would, perhaps, credit," 
said he, feelingly. 

There was a little pause, during which they walked along side by 
side. 



2S0 nAIlRINGTOX. 

'• What nre you tliinlung of?" said she, at last. 

" I uas thinking oF a strange thing — it was tliis : About a week 
ago tliere was no effort I was not making to obtain the conunand of 
my regiment. I wanted to be Jjieutenant-Colonel, and so bent was I 
on gaining my object, that if giving away three or four years of tliat 
life that I may hope for would have done it, I'd liave closed the bar- 
gain ; and now the ambition is gone, and I am speculating whether 
I'll not take the cottage of your friend jNlajor M'Cormick — he 
offered it to me last night — and become your neighbour. AVhat say 
you to the project r" 

" Tor us the excliange would be all a gain." 

'■ 1 want your opinion — your own," said lie, with a voice reduced 
to a mere whisper. 

" I'd like it of all thino-s: altlioufrh, if I were vour sister or your 
daughter, I'd not counsel it." 

"And why not, if you were my sister?" said he, with a certain 
constraint in his manner. 

" I'd say it was inglorious to change from the noble activity of a 
soldier's life to come and dream away existence here." 

" But what if I have done enough for this same thing men call 
fame? I have had my share of campaigning, and as the world looks 
there is wondrous little prospect of any renewal of it. These peace 
achievements suit your fiicnd Conyers better than me." 

" I think you are not just to him. If I read him aright, he is burn- 
ing for an occasion to distinguish himself" 

A cold shrug of the shoulders was his only acknowledgment of 
this speech, and again a silence fell between them. 

" I would rather talk of you, if you would let me," said he, with 
much significance of voice and manner. "Say, would you like to 
have me for your neighbour?" 

" It would be a pleasant exchange for j\lajor M'Cormick," said she, 
laughing. 

" I want you to be serious now. What 1 am asking you interests 
me too deeply to jest over." 

" First of all, is the project a serious one ?" 

" It is." 

" Next, why ask advice from one as inexperienced as I am ?" 

" Because it is not counsel I ask — it is something more. Don'fc 
look surprised, and, above all, don't look angry, but listen to me. 
What 1 have said now, and what more I would say, might more pro- 
perly have been uttered when we had known each other longer; but 



BAliRINCiTOX. 2Si 

there are cinei-gcncies in lil'o wliicli i^ivi" no tiino i'ov slow approaches, 
and tliere are men, too, tliat they suit not. Imagine sucl) now before 
you — I mean, both the moment and the man. Imagine one who has 
gone through a great deal in lite, seen, heard, aud felt much, and yet 
never till now, never till this very morning, understood what it was 
to know one whose least word or passing look was more to him than 
ambition, higher tlian all the rewards of glory." 

" AV^e never met till yesterday," said she, calmly. 

" True ; aud if we part to-morrow ib will be for ever. I feel too 
painfully," added he, with more eagerness, " how I compromise all 
that I value by au avowal abrupt and rash as this is; but I have 
liad no choice. I have been offered the command of a native force in 
India, and must give my answer at once. With hope — the very 
faintest, so that it be hope — I will refuse. Hemember, I want uo 
[.'ledge, no promise; all I entreat is that you will regard me as one 
who seeks to win your favour. Let time do the rest." 

'• I do not think I ought to do this — I do not know if you should 
ask it." 

" May I speak to your grandfather — may I tell him what I have 
told you — may I say, ' It is with Josephine's permission ' " 

" I am called Miss Barrington, Sir, by all but those of my own 
family." 

" Torgive me, I entreat you," said he, with a deep humility in his 
tone. " I had never so far forgotten myself if calm reason had not 
deserted me. I will not transgress again." 

" This is the sliortest wav back to the cottage," said she, turning 
into a narrow path in the wood. 

" It does not lead to my hope," said he, desponding]}" ; and no 
more was uttered between tliem for some paces. 

" Do not walk so very fast. Miss Barrington," said he, iu a tone 
which trembled slightly. " In the few minutes — the seconds you 
could accord me — I might build the whole fortune of my life. I have 
already endangered my hopes by rashness ; let me own that it is th(" 
fault I have struggled against in vain. This scar" — and he showed 
the deep mark of a sabre-wound on the temple — " was the price of one 
of my oflendings ; but it was light in suffering to what I am now 
enduring." 

" Can we not talk of \Ahat will exact no such sacrifice ?" said she, 
calmly. 

" Is'ot now, not now!" said he, with emotion; "if you pass that 
porch without giving me an answer, life has uo longer a tie for me. 



282 BA.KRIKGTOX. 

Tou know that I ask for no pledge, no promise, merely time — no more 
than time — a few more of those moments of which you now would 
seem eager to deny me. Linger an instant here, I beseecli you, and 
remember, that what to you may be a caprice, may to me be a 
destiny." 

" I will not hear more of this," said she, half angrily, "Kit were 
not for my own foolish trustfulness you never would have dared to 
address such words to one whom you met yesterday for the first 
time." 

" It is true, your generous frankness, the nature they told me you 
inherited, gives me boldness, but it might teach you to have some 
pity for a disposition akin to it. One word — only one word more." 

" Not one. Sir ! The lesson my frankness has taught me is, never 
to incur this peril again." 

" Do you part from me in anger ?" 

" Not with you ; but I will not answer for myself if you press me 
further." 

" Even this much is better than despair," said he, mournfully ; and 
she passed into the cottage, while he stood in the porch and bowed 
respectfully as she went by. " Better than I looked for ; better than 
I could have hoped," muttered he to himself, as he strolled away 
and disappeared in the wood. 



CHAPTEE XXXV. 



A C A J5 I N E 1 C O U N C I I.. 



" What do you think of it, Dinah r" said Barrington, as they sat 
in conelavc the next morning in her own sitting-room. 

She laid down a letter she had just finished reading on the table, 
carefully folding it, like one trying to gain time before she spoke : 
" He's a clever man, and writes well, Peter ; there can be no second 
opinion upon that." 

" But his proposal, Dinah — his proposal ?" 

" Pleases me less the more I think of it. There is great disparity 
of age — a wide discrepancy in character. A certain gravity of 



nAKETNaTON. 2R;i 

demeanour •would not be undesirable, perliaps, in a husband for 
Josephine, who has her moments of capricious fanc\', but, if I mis- 
take not, this man's nature is stern and unbending." 

•' Tliere will be time enough to consider all that, Dinah. It is, in 
fact, to weigh well the chances of his fitness to secure her happiness 
that he pleads ; he asks permission to make himself known to her, 
j-ather than to make his court." 

" I used to fancy that they meant the same thing — I know that 
they did in my day, Peter," said she, bridling ; " but to come to the 
plain question before us. So far as I understand him, his position 
is this : ' If I satisfy you that my rank and fortune are satisfactory 
to you, have I your permission to come back here as your grand- 
daughter's suitor?' " 

" Not precisely, Dinah — not exactly this. Here are liis words : ' J 
am well aware that I am much older than Miss Barriugton, and it is 
simply to ascertain frouT herself if, in that dispai-ity of years, there 
exists that disparity of tastes and temper which would indispose her 
to regard mo as one to whom she would entrust her happiness. I 
hope to do this without any oflence to her delicacy, though not 
without peril to my own self-love. Have I your leave for tliis 
experiment ?' " 

" Who is he ? Who are his friends, connexions, belongings ? 
What is his station independently of his military rank, and what 
are his means ? Can you answer these questions ?" 

" 'Not one of them. I never found myself till to-day in a position 
to inquire after them." 

" Let us begin, then, by that investigation, Peter. There is no such 
test of a m?ai as to make him talk of himself. With you alone the 
matter, perhaps, would not present much difficulty to him, but I 
intend that Mr. AVitheriug's name and my own shall be on the com- 
mittee ; and, take m// word for it, we shall sift the evidence care- 
fully." 

"Bear in mind, sister Dinah, that this gentleman is, first of all, 
our guest." 

" The first of all that I mean to bear in mind is, that he desires to 
be your grandson." 

" Of course — of course. I would only observe on the reserve that 
should be maintained towards one who honours us with his pre- 
sence." 

" Peter Barrington, the Arabs, from whom you seem to borrow 
your notions on hospitality, seldom scruple about cutting a guest's 



'.!S-1 U.VllUlNCiTOX. 

lieiul off wlieji he passes the threshold; therefore I would advise you 
to adopt habits tliat may be more suited to the land we live in." 

"All I know is," said ]3arriii2;toii, rising and pacing the room, 
'• that I could no more put a genllcinan under my roof to the question 
as to Ills fatlior and mother and ids fortune, than I could rifle his 
writing-desk and read his letters." 

'' Brother Peter, the weakness of your disposition has cost you one 
of the finest estates in your country, and if it could be restored to 
vou to-morrow, the same imbecility would forfeit it again. I will, 
liovvever, take the matter into my own hands." 
" AVith Withering, I suppose, to assist you?" 
" Certainly not. I am perfectly competent to make any inquiry I 
deem requisite without a legal adviser. Perhaps, were I to be so 
accompanied, Major Stapylton would suppose that he, too, should 
appear with his lawyer." 

Barriugtou smiled faintly at the dry jest, but said nothing. 
" I see," resumed she, '"that you are very much afraid about my 
want of tact and delicacy in this investigation. It is a somewhat 
common belief amongst men that in all matters of business women 
err on the score of hardness and persistence. I have listened to 
some edifying homilies from your friend AVithering on female incre- 
dulity and so forth — reproaches that will cease to apply when men 
shall condescend to treat us as creatures accessible to reason, and not 
as mere dupes. See who is knocking at the door, Peter," added she, 
sharply. " I declare it recals the old days of our inn-keeping, and 
Darby asking for tlie bill of the lame gentleman in No. 4 !" 

" Upon my life, they were pleasant days too," said Barriugtou, but 
in a tone so low as to be unheard by Ids sister. 

" May I come in ?" said AV^ithering, as he opened the door a few 
inches, and peeped inside. " I want to show you a note I have just 
had from Kinshela, in Kilkenny." 

"Tes, yes; come in," said Miss Barrington. "I only wish you 
had arrived a little earlier. AVhat is your note about ?" 

" It's very short and very purpose-like. The first of it is all about 
Brazier's costs, which it seems the taxing- officer thinks fair and 
reasonable — all excepting that charge for the additional afildavits. 
But here is what 1 want to show you. ' Major ]\l'Cormick, of 
M'Cormick's Grove, has just been here ; and although I am not 
entitled to say' as much officially on his part, I entertain no doubt 
whatever but that he is ready to advance the money we require. 
1 spoke of fifteen hundred, but said twelve might possibly be taken, 



BAREINQTON. 285 

and twelve would be, I imagine, his limit, since he lield to this amount 
in all our conversation afterwards. He appears to be a man of strange 
and eccentric habits, and these w ill probably be deemed a sufficient 
excuse for the singular turn our interview took towards its conclu- 
sion. I was speaking of Mr. Barringtou's wish for the insertion in 
the deed of a definite period for redemption, and he stopped me hastily 
with, " "What if we could strike out another arrangement ? What if 
he was to make a settlement of the place on his granddaughter ? I am 
not too old to marry, and I'd give him the money at five per cent." I 
have been careful to give you the very expressions he employed, and 
of wliich I made a note when he left tlie office ; for although fully 
aware how improper it would be in me to submit this proposal to Mr. 
Barrington, I have felt it my duty to put you in possession of all that 
has passed between us.' " 

" How can you laugh, Peter Barrington ? — how is it possible you 
can laugh at such an insult — such an outrage as this ? Go on, Sir," 
said she, turning to Withering ; " let us hear it to the end, for nothing 
worse can remain behind." 

" There is no more ; at least, there is not anything worth hearing. 
Kinshela winds uj) with many apologies, and hopes that I will only 
use his communication for my own guidance, and not permit it in any 
case to prejudice him in your estimation." As he spoke, he crumpled 
up the note in liis hand in some confusion. 

" AVho thinks of Mr. Kinshela, or wants to think of him, in the 
matter ?" said she, angrily. " I wish, however, I were a man for a 
couple of hours, to show Major M'Cormick tlie estimate I take of the 
honour he intends us." 

"After all, Dinah, it is not that he holds us more cheaply, but 
rates himself higher." 

" Just so," broke in Withering ; " and I know, for my own part, I 
have never been able to shake off the flattery of being chosen by the 
most nefarious rascal to defend him on his trial. Every man is a great 
creature in his own eyes." 

" Well, Sir, be proud of your client," said siie, trembling witli 
anger. 

" No, no — he's no client of mine, nor is this a cause I would plead 
for him. I read you Kinshela's note, because I thought you were 
building too confidently on M'Cormick's readiness to advance this 
jnoney." 

'• I understood what that readiness meant, though my brother did 
not. M'Cormick looked forward to the day — and not a very distant 



2SG TiVRRINOTON". 

day did he deem it — when he sliould step iuto possession of this place, 
and settle down here as its owner." 

Harrington's face grew pale, and a glassy film spread over his eyes, 
as his sister's words sunk into Ids heart. "I declare, Dinah," said 
he, fulteriugly, " that iiever did strike me before." 

" ' It never rains but it pours,' says the Irish adage," resumed 
she. " My brother and I were just discussing another proposal of 
the same kind when you- knocked. Read that letter. It is from a 
more adroit courtier than the other, and at least he doesn't preface 
his intentions with a bargain." And she handed Stapylton's letter 
to Withering. 

" Ah !" said the lawyer, " tliis is another guess sort of man, and a 
very different sort of proposal." 

'•I suspected that he was a favourite of yours," said Miss Dinah, 
significantly. 

" Well, I own to it. lie is one of those men who have a great at- 
traction for me — men who come out of the conflict of life and its 
interests without an}' exaggerated notions of human perfectability or 
the opposite, who recognise plenty of good and no small share of 
bad in the world, but, on the whole, are satisfied that, saving ill 
health, very few of our calamities are not of our own pro- 
viding." 

" All of which is perfectly compatible with an]odious egotism. Sir." 
r^aid she, warmly; "but I feel proud to say such characters find few 
admirers amongst women." 

" From which I opine that he is not fortunate enough to number 
Miss Dinah Barrington among his supporters ?" 

'■ Tou are right there. Sir. The prejudice I had against him before 
we met has been strengthened since I have seen him." 

" It is candid of you, however, to call it a prejudice," said he, with 
a smile. 

■^ Be it so, Mr. AVithering ; but prejudice is only another word 
for an instinct." 

•• I'm afraid if we get into ethics we'll forget all about the pro- 
posal," said Barrington. 

" AVhat a sarcasm !" cried AV^ithering, "that if we talk of morals 
we shall ignore matrimony." 

" I like the man, and I like his letter," said Barrington. 

'• I distrust both one and the other," said Miss Dinah. 

" I almost fancy I could hold a brief on either side,"- interposed 
Witlieriufr. 



KAnRINQTOK. 287 

" Of course you could, Sii- ; and if the choice were open to you, it 
would be the defence of the guilty." 

"My dear Miss Barrington," said Withering, calmly, "wlicu a 
great legal authority once said that he only needed three lines of any 
man's writing ' to hang him,' it ought to make us very lenient in our 
construction of a letter. Now, so far as I can see in this one before 
us, he neither asks nor protests too much. He begs simply for time, 
he entreats leave to draw a bill on your aflfections, and he promises 
to meet it." 

" No, Sir, he wishes to draw at sight, though he has never shown 
us the letter of credit." 

'• I vow to Heaven it is hopeless to expect anything practical 
when you two stand up together for a sparring-match," cried. Bar- 
I'ington. 

" Be practical, then, brother Peter, and ask this gentleman to give 
you a quarter of an hour in your study. Find out who he is ; I don't 
expect you to learn what he is, but what he has. "With his fortune we 
shall get the clue to himself." 

" Yes," chimed in AVithering, " all that is very business-like and 
reasonable." 

" And it pledges us to nothing,' ' added she. " We take soundings, 
but we don't promise to anchor." 

" If you go oif again with your figures of speech, Dinah, there is 
an end of me, fori have one of those unhappy memories that retain the 
illustration and forget what it typified. Besides this, here is a man 
who, out of pure good nature and a respect for poor George's memory, 
has been doing us most important services, written letters innume- 
rable, and taken the most active measures for our benefit. What sort 
of a figure shall I present if I bring him to book about his rental and 
the state of his bank account ?" 

" With the exercise of a little tact, Barrington — a little manage- 
ment " 

" Ask a man with a club-foot to walk gingerly ! I have no more 
notion of getting at anything by address than I have of tying the 
femoral artery." 

" The more blunt the better, Peter Barrington. Tou may tumble 
into the truth though you'd never pick your way into it. Mean- 
while, leave me to deal with Major M'Cormick." 

" You'll do it courteously, Dinah ; you'll bear in mind tliat he is 
a neighbour of some twenty years' standing ?" said Barrington, in a 
voice of anxietv. 



28S B.VRRINQTOir. 

" I'll do it ill a manner that shall satisfy my conscience and his 
presumption." 

She seated herself at the table as she said this, and dashed ofT a 
lew hasty lines. Indeed, so hurried was the action, that it looked far 
more like one of those instances of correspondence we see on the stage, 
tiian an event of real life. 

'• AYill tliat do ?" said she, showing tlie lines to AV'itliering. 

The old lawyer read them over to himself, a faint twitching of the 
mouth being the only sign his face presented of any emotion. "I 
should say, admirably — nothing better." 

" May I see it, Dinah ?" asked Peter. 

" You shall hear it, brother," said she, taking the paper and 
reading : 

" ' Miss Barrington informs INFr. Kinshela that, if he does not at 
once retract his epistle of this morning's date, she will place it in the 
hands of her legal adviser, and proceed against it as a threateniu;^ 
letter.' " 

" Oli, sister, you will not send this?" 

*' As sure as my name is Umah Barrington.'* 



r!A.UKlMJr(.)N'. 



•2 so 



L'llAPTEli XXXVI. 

AN' EXl'.^ESS. 

In the tirnea before telegraphs — aud it is of sueli I am writing — a 
Imrried express was a far more stirring event thau in these our days 
of incessant oracles. While, therefore, Barrington and his sister and 
W'icliering sat in deep consultation on Josephine's fate and future, a 
iKisty summons arrived from Dublin, requiring the instantaneouy 
departure of Stapylton, wliose regiment was urgently needed in the 
north of England, at that time agitated by those disturbances called 
the Bread lliots. They w^ere very formidable troubles, and when we 
look back upon them now, with the light which the great events oi" 
later years on the Continent afford us, seem more terrible still. It 
was tlie fashion, however, then, to treat them lightly, and talk of 
tliem contemptuously ; and as Stapylton was eating a hasty luncheon 
before departure, he sneered at the rabble, and scoffed at the insolent 
pretension of their demands. Neither Barrington nor Withering 
sympathised with the spirit of revolt, and yet each felt shocked 
at the tone of haughty contempt Stapylton assumed towards the 
people. "You'll see," cried he, rising, "how a couple of brisk 
charges from our fellows will do more to bring these rascals to reason 
than all the fine pledges of your Parliament folk ; and I promise yoii, 
for my own part, if I chance upon one of their leaders, I mean to i:iy 
my mark on him." 

" I fear, Sir, it is your instinctive dislike to the plebeian that 
moves you here," said Miss Dinah. "You will not entertain tht; 
question whether these people may not liave some wrongs to com- 
plain of." 

" Perhaps so. Madam," said he ; and his swarthy face grew darker 
as he spoke. " I suppose this is a case where the blood of a gentle- 
man boils indignantly at the challenge of the ' canaille.' " 

" I will not have a French word applied to our own people, Sir." 
said she, angrily. 

" Well said," chimed in Withering. " It is wonderful how a 
phrase can seem to carry an argument along with it." 

And old Peter smiled, and nodded his concurrence with tiiis 
speech. 

•' \\hat a sad minority do I sfand in," said Stapyltoji^ with un 

u 



290 UAiini^GTCX. 

effort to smilo very far from successful. '• AVill not Miss Josephine 
Barriiigtou have geuerosily cuougli to aid the weaker side?" 

" iNot if it be tlie worse cause," interposed Dinali. " My niece 
needs not to be told she must be just before she is generous." 

'• Then it is to your own generosity I will appeal," said Stapylton, 
turning to her; '• and I wdll ask you to ascribe some at least of u)y 
bitterness to the sorrow I feel at being thus summoned awa\'. ]3e- 
lieve me it is no light matter to leave this place and its company." 

" But only for a season, and a very brief season, too, I trust," said 
Earrington. " Tou are going away in our debt, remember." 

" It is a loser's privilege, all the world over, to withdraw when ho 
has lost enough," said tStapyltou, with a sad smile towards Miss 
Dinah ; and though the speech was made in the hope it might elicit 
a contradiction, none came, and a very awkward silence ensued. 

" You will reach Dublin to-night, I suppose ?" said AVithering, to 
relieve the painful pause in the conversation. 

" It will be late — after midnight, perhaps." 

" And embark the next morning ?" 

" Two of our squadrons have sailed already ; the others will, of 
course, follow to-morrow." 

"And young Conyers," broke in Miss Dinah — "lie will, I sup- 
pose, accompany this — what shall I call it — this raid r" 

" Yes, Madam. Am I to convey to him your compliments upon 
his first opportunity to flesh his maiden sword r" 

" You are to do nothing of the kind, Sir ; but tell him from me 
not to forget that the angry passions of a starving multitude are not 
to be confounded with the vindictive hate of our natural enemies." 

" Natural enemies, ni}^ dear Miss Barrington ! I hope you cannot 
mean that there exists anything so munslrous iu humanity as a 
natural enemy ?" 

" I do. Sir ; and I mean all those whose jealousy of us ripens into 
hatred, and who would spill their hearts' blood to see us humbled. 
When there exists a people like this, and who at every fresh outbreak 
of a war with us have carried into the new contest all the bitter ani- 
mosities of long-past struggles as debts to be liquidated, I call these 
natural enemies ; and, if you prefer a shorter word for it, I call them 
I'Venclnnen." 

" Dinah, Dinah !" 

" Peter, Peter ! don't interrupt me. Major Stapyltou has thought 
to tax me with a blunder, but I accept it as a boast !" 

" Madam, I am [)roud to be vanquished by you," said Stapyltou, 
l)0\viu<r low. 



15A11RINGT0N'. 201 

" And I trust, Sir," said she, continuing her spcecli, and as if 
heedless of liis interruption, "that no siniihirity of name will make 
you behave at Peterloo — if that be the uauie — as though you were ab 
Waterloo." 

" Upon my life !" cried he, with a saucy laugh, " I. don't know how 
I am to win your good opinion, except it be by tearing oft" my epau- 
lettes, and putting myself at the head of the mob." 

" Tou know very little of my sister, Major Sfcapylton," said Bar- 
rlngton, " or you would scarcely have selected that mode of culti- 
vating her favour." 

" There is a popular belief that ladies always side with the winning 
•cause," said Stapylton, allecting a light aud easy manner ; " so I must 
do my best to be successful. May I hope I carry your (jood w"islies 
away with me ?" said he, in a lower tone, to Josephine. 

" I liope that nobody will hurt you and you hurt nobody," said she, 
laughingly. 

" And this, I take it, is about as much sympathy as ever attends 
^i man on such a campaign. Mr. Barrington, will you grant me two 
minutes of conversation in your own roona ?" And, with a bow of 
acquiescence, Barrington led the way to his study. 

'• I ought to have anticipated your request. Major Stapyltou," said 
Barrington, when they found tlieinselves alone. " I owe you a reply 
to your letter, but the simple fact is, I do not know what answer to 
give it, for while most sensible of the honour you intend us, I feel 
still there is much to be explained on both sides. AVe know scarcely 
iinythiug of each other, and though I am conscious of the generosity 
which prompts a man with ijour prospects and in ?/o?^r position to ally 
himself with persons in ours, yet I owe it to myself to say, it hangs 
upon a contingency to restore us to wealth and station. Even a 
portion of what I claim from the East India Company would make 
my granddaughter one of the richest heiresses in England." 

Stapyltou gave a cold, a very cold smile, i]i reply to this speech. 
It might mean that he was incredulous or indifterent, or it might 
imply that the issue was one which need not have been introduced 
into the case at all. "Whatever its signification, Barrington felt hurt 
by it, and hastily said, 

" Xot that I have any need to trouble you with these details ; it is 
rather my province to ask for information regarding your circum- 
stances than to enter upon a discussion of ours.'" 

" I am quite ready to give you the very fullest and clearest — I mean 
to yourself personally, or to your sister — for except where the lawyer 
intervenes of necessity and ' de droit,' I own that I resent his pre- 

u 2 



292 BAIUUNGTON. 

sence as an insult, I suppose few of us are devoid of certain faiiv.]-; 
circumstances -nhicli it would be more agreeable to deal with in con- 
fidence; and though, perhaps, I am as fortunate as most men in this 
respect, there are one or two small matters on which I would ask 
your attention. These, however, are neither important nor pressinir. 
My first care is to know — and I hope I am not peremptory in askiiit;- 
it — have I your consent to the proposition contained in my letter • 
am I at liberty to address Miss Barrington ?" 

Barrington flushed deeply and fidgeted ; ho arose and sat down 
again. All his excitement only aggravated by the well-bred com- 
posure of the other, who seemed utterly inieon^^cious of the uneasi- 
ness he was causing. 

" Don't you think. Major, that this is a case for a little time to 
reflect — that in a matter so momentous as this, a i'ew days at least 
are requisite for consideration ? We ought to ascertain something 
at least of my granddaughter's own sentiments — I iriean,of course, in 
a general way. It might be, too, that a day or two might give us some 
better insight into her future prospects." 

" Pardon my interrupting you ; but, on the last point, I am 
perfectly indifierent. Miss Barrington witli half a province for her 
dower, would be no more in my eyes than Miss Barrington as she sat 
at breakfast this morning. Nor is there anything of high-flown 
sentiment in this declaration, as my means are sufficiently ample for 
all that I want or care." 

" There, at least, is one diflleulty disposed of Ton are an eldest 
son?" said he, and he blushed at his own boldness in making the 
inquiry. 

" I am an only son." 

" Easier again," said Barrington, trying to laugli ofl" the awkward 
moment. " No cutting down one's old timber to pay off' the provi- 
sions for younger brotliers." 

" In my case there is no need of this." 

" And your father. Is lie still living. Major Stapylton r" 

" j\ly i'alhcr has been dead for some years." 

Barrington fidgeted again, fumbled with his watch-chain and iii:- 
oye-glass, and would have given more than he could aflford for any 
casualty that should cut short tlie interview. He wanted to say, 
" What is the amount of your fortune ? What is it ? AVhere is it ? 
Are you AV'iltsliire or Staffordshire ? AVho are your uncles and aunts, 
and your good friends that you pray for, and where do you pray f^i- 
them ?" A thousand questions of this sort arose in his mind, one 
only more prving and impei-tineiit tliau another, lie Iciiew i;e oiign: 



UAUllINQTOX. 293 

to ask them ; lie knew Dinali would have askod thctn. Ay, and 
would have the answers to them as plain and palpable as tlio replies 
to a life assurance circular ; but he couldn't do it. No ; not if his 
life depended on it. He had already gone further in his transgression 
of good manners than it ever occurred to him before to do, and ho 
i'c'lt something between a holy inquisitor and a spy of the police. 

Stapylton looked at his watch, and gave a slight start. 

" Later than you thought, eh ?" cried Peter, overjoyed at the diver- 
sion. 

Stapylton smiled a cold assent, and put up his Avatch without a 
word. He saw all the confusion and embarrassment of the other, and 
made no effort to relieve him. At last, but not until after a con- 
siderable pause, he said, 

" I believe, Mr. Barrington — I hope, at least — I have satisfactorily 
answered the questions which, with every right on your part, you have 
deemed proper to put to me. I cannot but feel how painful the task 
has been to you, and I regret it the more, since probably it has set a 
limit to inquiries which you are perfectly justified in making, but 
which closer relations between us may make a matter far less formid- 
able one of these days." 

" Yes, yes — just so ; of coui'se," said Barrington, hurriedly assent- 
ing to he knew not what. 

" And I trust I take my leave of you with the understanding that 
when we meet again, it shall be as in the commencement of these 
pleasanter relations. I own to you I am the more eager on this 
point, that I perceive your sister, Miss Barrington, scarcely regards 
me very favourably, and I stand the more in need of your alliance." 

" I don't think it possible. Major Stap^dton," said Barrington, 
boldly, " that my sister and I could have two opinions upon anything 
or anybody." 

" Then I only ask that she may partake of yours on this occasion," 
said Stapylton, bowing. " But I must start ; as it is, I shall be very 
late in Dublin. Will you present my most respectful adieux to the 
ladies, and say also a good-by for me to Mr. "Withering ?" 

" Tou'll come in for a moment to the drawing-room, won't you ?" 
cried Barrington. 

" I think not. I opine it would be better not. There would be a 
certain awkwardness about it — that is, until you have informed Miss 
Dinah Barrington of the extent to which you have accorded me your 
confidence, and how completely I have opened every detail of my 
circumstances. I believe it would be in better taste not to present 
myself. Tell Withering that if he writes, Manchester will find me. 



291 BAHKINGTOX, 

I don't suspect he nood give liiinself any more trouble about esta- 
blisliinrr the pvootd of marriage. The}' will scarcely contest that 
point. The great question will and must be, to ascertain if the Com- 
pany will cease to oppose the claim on being fully convinced that the 
letter to the Meer Busherat was a forgery, and that no menace ever 
came from Colonel Barrington's hand as to the consequences of oppos- 
ing his rule. Get them to admit this — let the issue rest upon this — 
and it will narrow the whole suit within manageable limits." 

" Would you not say this much to him before you go ? It would 
come with so much more force and clearness from yourself." 

'• I have done so till I was wearied. Like a true lawyer, he insists 
upon proving each step as he goes, and will not condescend to a 
hypothetical conclusion, though I have told him over and over again 
we want a settlement, not a victory. Good-by, good-by ! If I onco 
launch out into the cause, I cannot tear myself away again." 

" Has your guest gone, Peter ?" said Miss Dinah, as her brother 
re-entered the drawing-room. 

" Yes ; it was a hurried departure, and he liad no great heart for 
it, either. By the way, Withering, while it is iresh in my head, let 
me tell you the message he has sent you." 

" Was there none for one, Peter ?" said she, scoffingl}-. 

" Ay, but there was, Dinah ! He left with me, I know not how 
many polite and charming things to say for him." 

" And am I alone forgotten in this wide dispensation of favours ?" 
asked Josephine, smiling. 

" Of course not, dear," chimed in Miss Dinah. "Your grandpapa 
has been charged with them all. You could not expect a gentleman 
so naturally timid and bashful as our late guest to utter them by his 
own lips." 

" I see," said Withering, laughing, "that you have not forgiven 
the haughty aristocrat for his insolent estimate of the people !" 

" He an aristocrat ! Such bitter words as his never fell from any 
man who had a grandfather !" 

"Wrong, for once, Dinah," broke in Barrington. " I can answer 
for it that you are unjust to him." 

" We shall see," said she. " Come, Josephine, I have a whole 
morning's work before me in the flower-garden, and I want your help. 
Don't forget, Peter, that Major M'Cormick's butler, or boatman, or 
bailiff, whichever he be, has been up here with a present of seakale 
this morning. Give him something as you pass the kitchen ; and 
you, Mr. Withering, whoso trade it is to read and unravel mysteries, 
explain if you can the meaning of this unwonted generosity." 



liAunixGTOx. 205 

*• I suppose wc cnn all guess it," said he, laughing. " It's a 
custom that begins in the East and goes round the whole world till 
it reaches the vast prairie in the Tar West." 

" And what can that custom be. Aunt Dinah ?" asked Josephine, 
innocently. 

" It is an ancient rite Mr. AVithering speaks of, child, pertaining 
to the days when men offered sacrifices. Come along ; I'm going !" 



CHAPTER XXXVII. 



CROSS-EXAMININGS. 



"While Barrlngton and his lawyer sat in conclave over the details 
of the great suit, Stapylton hurried along his road with all the speed 
he could summon. The way, which for some miles led along the 
river-side, brought into view IM'Cormick's cottage and the Major him- 
self, as he stood listlessly at his door. 

Halting his carriage for a moment, Stapylton jumped out and drew 
nigh the little quickset hedge which flanked the road. 

" What can I do for you in the neighbourhood of Manchester, 
Major ? We are just ordered ofi' there to ride down the Eadicals." 

" I wish it was nearer home you were going to do it," said be, 
crankily. " Look here" — and he pointed to some fresh turned earth 
— "they were stealing my turnips last night," 

" It would appear that these fellows in the north are growing dan- 
gerous," said Stapylton, 

" 'Tis little matter to us," said M'Cormick, sulkily. " I'd care 
more about a blight in the potatoes than for all the politics in 
Europe." 

" A genuine philosopher ! How snug you are here, to be sure. A 
man in a pleasant nook like this can well afford to smile at the busy 
ambitions of the outer world. I take it you are about the very hap- 
piest fellow I know r" 

" Maybe I am, maybe I'm not," said he, peevishly. 

" This spot only wants what I hinted to you t'other evening, to be 
perfection." 

" Ay !" said the otiier, dryly. 



?JO liAKUINOTOX. ' 

" And you agree with me heartily, if you had the candour to say it. 
Come, out with it, man, at once. I saw your gardener this morning 
with a great basketful of greenery, and a large bouquet on the top of 
it — are not these significant signs of a projected campaign ? You 
are wrong, Major, upon my life you are wrong not to be frank with 
me. I could, by a strange hazard, as the newspapers say, ' tell you 
something to your advantage.' " 

" About what r" 

" About the very matter you were thinking of as I drove up. 
Come, I will be more generous than you deserve." And, laying his 
arm on M'Cormick's shoulder, he half whispered in his ear, "It is a 
good thing — a deuced good thing ! and I promise you, if I were a 
marrying man, you'd have a competitor. I won't say she'll have one 
of the great fortunes people rave about, but it will be considerable 
— very considerable." 

" How do you know, or what do you know ?" 

" I'll tell you in three words. How I know is, because I 
have been the channel for certain inquiries they made in India. 
What I know is, the Directors are sick of the case, they arc sorely 
ashamed of it, and not a little uneasy lest it should come before the 
public, perhaps before the Parliament. Old Barrington has made all 
negotiation difficult by the extravagant pretensions he puts forward 
about his son's honour, and so forth. If, however, the girl were mar- 
ried, her husband would be the person to treat with, and I am assured 
with him they would deal handsomely, even generously." 

" And why wouldn't all this make a marrying man of you, thougli 
you weren't before ?" 

" There's a slight canonical objection, if you must know," said 
Stapylton, with a smile. 

'• Oh, J perceive — a wife already ! In India, perhaps r" 

" I have no time just now for a long story, M'Cormick," said he, 
familiarly, " nor am I quite certain I'd tell it if I had. However, 
you know enough for all practical purposes, and I repeat to you, this 
is a stake I can't enter for — you understand me ?" 

" There's another thing, now," said M'Cormick, " and as we are 
talking so freely together there's no harm in mentioning it. It's 
only the other day, as I may call it, that we met for the first time ?'' 

" Very true ; when I was down here at Cobham." 

" And never heard of each other before ?" 

" Not to my knowledge, certainly." 

" That being the case, I'm curious to hear how you took thi? won- 
GcrAii inU'retl in me. It wasn't anything in niy appearance, I'm 



BAKKiyOTOX. 297 

sure, nor 1113' manners ; and as to "n'hat you'd hear about nic amou'T^ 
those bhic'liguards down here, there's nothiug too bad to say of 
me." 

" I'll bo as frank as yourself," said Stapylton, boldly ; " you ask for 
candoui', and you shall have it. I hadn't talked ten minutes with you 
till I saw that you were a thorough man of the uorld ; the true old 
soldier, wlio had seen enough of life to know that whatever one gets 
i'or notliing, in this world, is just worth nothing, and so I said to 
myself, ' If it ever occurs to me to chance upon a good opportunity 
of which I cannot from circumstances avail myself, there's my man. 
I'll go to him and say, " M'Cormiek, that's open to you, there's a safe 
thing !" And when in return he'd say, " Stapylton, what can I do for 
you ?" my answer would be, " Wait till you are satisfied that I have 
done you a good turn ; be perfectly assured that I have really served 
you." And tlieu, if I wanted a loan of a thousand or fifteen hundred 
to lodge for the lieutenant-colonelcy, I'd not be ashamed to sav, 
" M'Cormiek, let me have so much." ' " 

" That's it, is it ?" said M'Cormiek, with a leer of intense cunning. 
■' iSTot a bad bargain for you, anyhow. It is not every day that a man 
can sell what isn't his own." 

" I might say, it's not every day that a man regards a possible loan 
as a gift, but I'm quite ready to reassure all your fears on that score ; 
I'll even pledge myself never to borrow a shilling from you." 

" Oh, I don't mean that; you took me up so quick," said the old 
fellow, reddening with a sense of shame he had not felt for many a 
year. " I may be as stingy as they call me, but for all that I'd stand 
to the man who stands to «ze." 

" Between gentlemen and men of the world these things are better 
left to a sense of an honourable understanding than made matters of 
compact. There is no need of another word on the matter. I shall 
be curious, however, to know bow your project speeds. "Write to me — 
you have plenty of time — and write often. I'm not unlikely to learn 
something about the Indian claim, and, if I do, you shall hear of it." 

'■ I'm not over good at pen and ink work ; indeed, I haven't much 
practice, but I'll do my best." 

" Do, by all means. Tell me how you get on with Aunt Dinah, 
who, I suspect, has no strong afiection for either of us. Don't be 
precipitate ; hazard nothing by a rash step ; secure your way by in- 
timacy, mere intimacy ; avoid particular attentions strictly ; be always 
there, and on some pretext or other — but why do I say all this to an 
old soldier, who has made such sieges scores of times !" 

" Well, I think I see my way clear enough," said the old fellow, 



2'.")S liAl{ltl>(iTU>'. 

v- ilh a grin. " I wisli I was as suro I knew wliy you take suo-i cin 
interest in me." 

"I believe I have told 3'ou already; I hope tluM'e is notliing so 
strange in tlie assurance as to require corroboration. Come, I raust 
sav good-by ; I meant to have said five words to you, and I liuve 
stayed here five-and-twenty minutes." 

" "Wouldn't you take something ? — couldn't I oflVr you anything r" 
said M'Cormick, hesitatingly. 

'• Nothing, thanks. I lunched before I started, and although old 
Dinah made several assaults upon me while T ate, I managed to 
secure two cutlets and part of a grouse-pie, and a rare glass of Ma- 
deira to Avash them down." 

" That old woman is dreadful, ami I'll take lier down a peg yet, as 
sure as my name is Dan." 

"No don't, Major; don't do anything of tlie l<ind. The people 
who tame tigers are sure to get scratched at last, and nobody thanks 
them for their pains. Eegard her as the sailors do a iire-ship ; give her 
a wide berth, and steer awa^^from her." 

"Ay, but slie sometimes gives chase." 

" Strike yo\u' flag, then, if it must be; for, trust me, you'll not 
conquer her."" 

" We'll see, we'll see," muttered the old fellow as he waved Kia 
adieux, and then turned back into the house again. 

As Stapylton lay back in his carriage he could not help muttering 
a malediction on the " dear friend " he had just parted with. AVhen 
the bourgeois gentilhomme objected to his adversary pushing him 
" en tierce" while he attacked him "en quarte," he was expressing a 
great social want, applicable to those people who in conversation 
will persist in saying many things wliich ought not to be uttered, 
and expressing doubts and di^^t^usts which, however it be reasonable 
to feel, are an outrage to avow. 

"The old fox," said Stapylton, aloud, "taunted me with selling 
what did not belong to me ; but he never suspects that I have bought 
something without paying for it, and that something himself! Yes, 
the mock siege he will lay to the fortress will occupy the garrison 
till it suits me to open the real attack, and 1 will make use of hiiu, 
besides, to learn whatever goes on in my absence. How the old fellow 
swallowed the bait ! AVliat self-esteem there must be in such a rugged 
nature, to make him imagine he could be successful in a cause like 
tins ! He is, after all, a clumsy agent to trust one's interest to. If 
tiie choice had been given me, I'd far rather have had a womau U> 
watch over them. Polly Dill, for instance, the very girl to under- 



UAUIUNOTOK. 299- 

ptand such a mission well. How adroitly would she liave plixyed the 
game, aud how clearly would her letters have shown me the exact 
state of events." 

Such were the texts of his musings as he drove along, and deep 
as were his thoughts, they never withdrew him, when the emergency 
called, from attention to every detail of the journey, and he scru- 
tinised the post-horses as they were led out, and apportioned the 
rewards to the postilions, as though no heavier care lay on his heart 
than the road and its belongings. "While he rolled thus smoothly 
along, Peter Barrington had been summoned to his sister's presence, 
to narrate in full all that he had asked, and all that he had learned, 
of Stapylton and his fortunes. 

Miss Dinah was seated in a deep arm-chair, behind a formidable 
embroidery-frame — a thing so complex and mysterious in form as to 
suggest an implement of torture. At a short distance off sat Wi- 
thering, with pen, ink, and paper before him, as if to set down any 
details of unusual importance ; and into this imposing presence 
poor Barrington entered with a woful sense of misgiving and humi- 
liation. 

" Wc have got a quiet Tuoment at last, Peter," said Miss Barring- 
ton. " I have sent the girls over to Brown's Barn for the tulip-roots, 
and I have told Darby that if any visitors came they were to be 
informed we were particularly occupied by business and could see no 
one." 

" Just so," added "Withering ; " it is a case before the jvidge in 
chamber." 

" But what have we got to hear ?" asked Barrington, with an air 
of innocence. 

" "We have got to hear your report, brother Peter ; the narrative of 
your late conversation with Major Stajiylton ; given, as nearly as your 
memory will serve, in the exact words and in the precise order every- 
thing occurred." 

" October the twenty-third," said "Withering, writing as he spoke; 
" minute of interview between P. B. and Major S. Taken on the 
same morning it occurred, with remarks and observations expla- 
natory." 

" Begin," said Dinah, imperiously, while she worked away without 
lifting her head. " And avoid, so far as possible, anything beyond 
the precise expression employed." 

" But you don't suppose I took notes in short-hand of what we 
said to each other, do you?" 

" I certainly suppose you can have retained in your memory a 



300 BARRINGTOy. 

convertialion tliat took place two hours ago," said jNIiss Diiiali, 
steriih'. 

" And can relate it circumstantially and clearly," added Withering. 

" Then I'm very sorry to disappoint you, but I can do nothing of 
the kind." 

" Do you mean to say that you had no interview with Major 
Stapylton, Peter ?" 

" Or that you have forgotten all about it ?" said AVithering. 

" Or is it that yon have taken a pledge of secresy, brother 
Peter ?" 

" No, no, no ! It is simply this, that though I retain a pretty fair 
general impression of what I said myself, and what he said after- 
wards, I could no more pretend to recount it accurately, than I 
could say otf by heart a scene in 'Komeo and Juliet.' " 

" AVhy don't you take the ' Comedy of Errors' for your illustration, 
Peter Barrington ? I ask you, Mr. "Withering, have you in all your 
experience met anything like this r" 

" It would go hard with a man in the witness-box to make such a 
declaration, I must say." 

" "What would a jury think of, wliat would a judge say to, him ?" 
said she, using the most formidable of all penalties to her brother's 
imagination. " Wouldn't the court tell him that he would be com- 
pelled to speak out ?" 

" They'd have it out on the cross-examination, at all events, if not 
on the direct." 

" In the name of confusion, wliat do you Avant with me ?" exclaimed 
Peter, in despair. 

" We want everything ; everything that you heard about this man. 
Who he is, what he is ; what by the father's side, what by the 
mother's ; what are his means, and wliere ; who knows liim, who are 
his associates. Bear in mind that, to us, liere he has dropped out of 
the clouds." 

" And gone back there too," added Withering. 

" I wish to Heaven he had taken me with him !" sighed Peter, 
drearily. 

" I think in this case, Miss Barrington," said Withering, w-ith a 
well afi'ected gravity, " we had better withdraw a juror, and ac- 
cept a nonsuit." 

" I have done with it altogether," said she, gathering up her 
worsted and her needles, and preparing to leave tho room. 

" My dear Dinah," said Barrington, entreatingly, ''imagine a man 
as wanting in tact as I am — and as timid, too, about giving casual 







■^'''^/y??? . 



BAKiaXGTOX. 301 

offenco — conducting such an inquiry as you coiuuiittedto my liantls. 
Fancy liovv, at every attempt to obtain information, liis own bolilucs3, 
I niiTht call it rudeness, stared him in the face, till at last, ratlicr than 
push his investigations, he grew puzzled how to apologise for hit-: 
prying curiosity." 

" Brother, brother, this is too bad ! It had been better to have 
thought more of your granddaughter's fate and less of your own feel- 
ings." And with this she flounced out of the room, iipsetting a 
ypider-table, and a case of stuffed birds that stood on it, as she 
passed. 

" I don't doubt but she's right, Tom," said Peter, when the door 
closed. 

" Did he not tell yon who he was, and what liis fortune ? Did 
you really learn nothing from hiui ?" 

■' He told me everything ; and if I had not been so cruelly badgered, 
I could have repeated every word of it ; but you never made a hound 
true to the scent by flogging him, Tom ; isn't that a fact, eh ?" And 
consoled by an illustration that seemed so pat to his case, he took 
his hat and strolled out into the garden. 



CHAPTER XXXVIII. 



GENERAL CONYEKS. 



In a snug little room of the Old Ship Hotel, at Dover, a large, heavy 
man, with snow-white hair and moustaches — the latter less common 
in those days than the present — sat at table with a younger one, so 
lilco him that no doubt could have existed as to their being fatlier 
a;id son. They had dined, and were sitting over their wine, talking 
(u-casionally, but oftener looking fondly and aflectionately at each 
other; and once, by an instinct of sudden love, grasping each other't^ 
hand, and sitting thus several minutes without a word on either side. 

*• Tou did not expect me before to-morrow, Pred," said the old 
man, at last. 

" No, father," replied young Conyers. " I saw by the newspapers 
that you were to dine at the Tuileries on Tuesday, and I thought you 
would not (init Paris the same evening." 



502 BAunixGXox. 

" Tes ; I started the moment I took ofT my unifoi-ra. I wanted to 
be with you, my boy; and the royal politeness that detained me was 
anything but a favour. How you have grown, Fred — almost my own 
lieight, I believe." 

" Tlie more like you the bettor," said the youth, as his eyes rau 
over, and the old man turned away to hide his emotion. 

After a moment he said, " How strange you should uot have got 
my letters, Fred ; but, after all, it is just as well as it is. I wrote iu 
a very angry spirit, and was loss just than a little cool reflection 
might have made me. They made no cliarges against me, though I 
thought they had. There were grumblings, and discontents, and such- 
like. They called me a Eajah, and raked up all the old stories they 
used to circulate once on a time about a far better fellow " 

" You mean Colonel Barrington, don't you?" said Fred. 

" Where or how did you hear of that name ?" said the old man, 
almost sternly. 

" An accident made me the guest of his family, at a little cottage 
they live in on an Irish river. I passed weeks there, and, through 
the favour of the name I bore, I received more kindness than I ever 
before met in life." 

" And they knew you to be a Couyers, and to be my son ?" 

" It was Colonel Barrington's aunt was my hostess, and she it was 
wlio, on hearing my name, admitted me at once to all the privileges 
of old friendship. She told me of the close companionship which 
once subsisted between you and her nephew, and gave me rolls of ins 
letters to read, wherein every line spoke of you." 

" And Mr. Barrington, the father of George, how did he receive 
you?" 

" At first with sucli coolness that 1 couldn't bring myself to rceross 
his threshold. He had been away from home wlien I arrived, and 
the day of his return I was unexpectedly presented to him by his 
sister, who evidently was as unprepared as myself for the reception I 
met with." 

" And what was that reception — how was it ? Tell me all as it 
happened." 

" It was the all'air of a moment. Miss Barrington introduced me, 
saying, ' This is the son of poor George's dearest friend — this is a 
Conyers ;' and the old man faltered, and seemed like to faint, and 
after a moment stammered out something about an honour he liad 
never counted upon — a visit lie scarcely could have hoped for ; and, 
indeed, so overcome was lie that he staggered into the house only to 
lake to his bed, v>-liore he lay seriously ill for several days after." 



UAUKIXOTOX. ?iiK\ 

■' Poor follow ! It was hard to forgive — very hard." 

"Ay, but he has forgivcu it — whatever it was — heartil}-, ana 
wliolly forgiven it. We met afterwards b}^ a cliance in Grermany, 
and wliilc 1 was hesitating liovv to avoid a repetition of the paiiiful 
scene which marked our first meeting, he caine manfully towards me 
witli his hand out, and said, ' I have a forgiveness to beg of you ; 
r.nd if. you only knew liow I long to obtain it, you would scarce say 
i:ie no.' " 

" The worthy father of poor George! I think I hear him speak 
the very words himself Go on, Fred — go on, and tell me further." 

" Tliere is no more to tell. Sir, unless I speak of all the affectionate 
kindness he has shown — the trustfulness and honour with which he 
has treated me. I have been in Iiis house like his own son." 

" Ah ! if you had known that son ! If you had seen wliat a type of 
a soldier he was ! Tlie most intrepid, the boldest fellow that ever 
breathed; but with a heart of cliildlike simplicity and gentleness. I 
could tell you traits of him, of his forbearance, his forgiveness, liis 
generous devotion to friendship, that would seem to bespeak a nature 
that had no room for other than soft and tender emotion ; and yet, if 
■ever there was a lion's heart within a man's bosom it was his." For a 
moment or two the old num seemed overcome by his recollections, 
and then, as if by an elibrt, rallying himself, he went on : " You have 
often heard the adage, Fred, that enjoins watching one's pennies and 
leaving tlie pounds to take care of themselves ; and yet, trust me, the 
maxim is truer as applied to our morals than our money. It is by 
tlie smaller, finer, and least important traits of a miin that his fate in 
life is fashioned. The caprices we take no pains to curb, the tempers 
we leave unchecked, the petty indulgences we extend to our vanity 
and self-love — these are the great sands that wreck us far oftener 
than the more stern and formidable features of our character. I 
■ought to know this truth — I myself lost the best, the truest, and tlie 
noblest friend that ever man had, just from the exercise of a spirit of 
bantering and ridicule which amused those about me, and gave me 
that pre-eminence which a sarcastic and witty spirit is sure to assert. 
Ton know already how George Barrington and I lived together like 
brothers. I do not believe two men ever existed more thoroughly 
and sincerely attached to each other. All the contrarieties of our 
4.1ispositions served but to heighten the interest that linked us to- 
gether. As for myself, I was never wearied in exploring tlie strange 
recesses of that great nature that seemed to unite all that could be 
daring and dashing in man with the tenderness of a woman. I believe 
1 knew him far belter than he knew himself But to come to what I 



301- BA.REIXQTOK. 

>vaut to tell you, and wliich is an agony to me to dwell on. T'.-io;;;^h 
for a Ions while our close Irieudsliip was well kuowu in tlio regiment, 
and spoken of as a thing incapable of change, a sort of rumour — no, 
not even a rumour, but an impression — seemed to gain that the ties 
between us were looser (Ui my side than his ; that G-eorge looked up 
to one, and that I, with tlie pride of a certain superiority, rather 
lorded it over him. Tliis feeling became painfully sti'engthened when 
it got about that Barrington had lent me the greater part of the 
purchase-money for my troop — a promotion, by the way, which banned 
his own advancement ; and it was whispered, so at least I heard, that 
Barrington was a mere cliild in my hands, whom I rebuked or re- 
warded at pleasure. If I could have traced these rumours to any 
direct source, I could have known how to deal with tliem. As it 
was, tliey were vague, shadowy, and unreal; and their very unsub- 
stantiality maddened me the more. To have told G-eorge of them 
would have been rasher still. The thought of a wrong done to rnc 
would liave driven him beyond all reason, and he would infallibly 
have compromised himself beyond recal. It was the very first time 
ill my life I had a secret from him, and it eat into my heart like a 
virulent disease. The consciousness that I was watched, the feeling 
that eyes were upon me marking all I did, and tongues were com- 
menting on all I said, exasperated me, and at one moment I would 
parade my friendship for Barrington in a sort of spirit of defiance, 
and at another, as though to give the lie to my slanilercrs, treat him 
with indillerence and carelessness, as it were to show that I was not 
bound to him by the weight of a direct obligation, and that our rela- 
tions involved nothing of independence. It was when, by some cruel 
mischance, I had been pursuing this spirit to its extreme, that the 
conversation one night at mess turned upon sport and tiger-hunting. 
Many stories were told, of course, and we had the usual narratives of 
hair-breadth escapes and perils of the most appalling kind ; till at 
length some one — I forget exactly who it was — narrated a single- 
handed encounter with a jaguar, whi(;h in horror exceeded anything 
we had heard before. The details were not alone so terrible, but the 
circumstances so marvellous, that one and all who listened cried out, 
' Who did it ?' 

" ' The man who told me the tale,' replied tlie narrator, ' and who 
will probably be back to relate it here to you, in a few days — Colonel 
JJarrington.' 

" I have told you the devilish spirit which had me in possession. 
I have already said that I was in one of those moods of insolent 
mockery in which nothing was sacred to me. Xo sooner, then '^'d 1 



liAiaaNOTUN. 305 

liear Barringtou's name than I burst into a hearty laugh, and said, 
' Oh! if it was one of G-eorge Harrington's tigers you ought to have 
mentioned that fact at the outset. Tou have been exciting our feel- 
ings unftiirly.' 

" * I assume that his statement was true,' said the other, gravelv. 

" * Doubtless ; just as battle-pieces are true, tliat is, pictorially 
true. The tiger did nothing that a tiger ought not to do, nor did 
George transgress any of those " unities" w^hich such combats re- 
quire. At the same time, Barrington's stories l)ave always a some- 
thing about them that stamps the authorship, and you recognise tliis 
trait just as you do a white horse in a picture by AVouvermans.' 

" In this strain I went on, heated by my own warmed imagination, 
and the approving laughter of those around me. I recounted more 
than one feat of Barringtou's — things which I knew he liad done, 
some of them almost incredible in boldness. These I told with many 
a liumorous addition and many an absurd commentary, convulsing 
tlie listeners with laughter, and rendering my friend ridiculous. 

" He came back from the hills within the week, and before he was 
two hours in his quarters he had heard the whole story. We were 
at luncheon in the mess-room when he entered, flushed and excited, 
but lar more moved by emotion than resentment. 

" ' Ormsby,' said he, ' you may laugh at me to your heart's content 
and I'll never grumble at it, but there are some young officers here 
who, not knowing the ties that attach us, may fancy that these-quiz- 
zings pass the limits of mere drollery, and even jeopardise something 
of my truthfulness. You, I know, never meant this any more than I 
have felt it, but others might, and might, besides, on leaving this and 
sitting at other tables, repeat what they had heard here. Tell them, 
therefore, that you spoke of me as you have a free right to do, in jest, 
and that your ridicule was the good-humoured banter of a friend — of 
a friend who never did, never could, impugn my honour.' 

" His eyes were swimming over, and his lips trembling, as he 
uttered the last words. I see him now, as lie stood there, his very 
cheek shaking in agitation. That brave, bold fellow, wlio would have 
marched up to a battery without quailing, shook like a sickly girl. 

" ' Am I to say that you never draw the long-bow, George ?' asked 
I, lialf insolently. 

" 'Ton are to say, Sir, that I never told a lie,' cried he, dark with 
passion. 

" ' Oh, this discussion will be better carried on elsewhere,' said I, 
as 1 arose and left the room. 

" As I was in the wrong, totally in the wrong, I was passionate 



30G 15AKRIXGT0X. 

ana' headstrong. I sat down and wrote a most insolent letter to Bar- 
rington. I turned all the self-hate that was consuming vie against 
my friend, and said I know not what of outrage and insult. I did 
worse ; I took a copy of my letter, and declared that I would read it 
to the officers in the mess-room, lie sent a friend to me to beg I 
would not take this course of open insult. My answer was, ' Cap- 
tain Barrington knows his remedy.' When I sent this message I 
prepared for what I felt certain would follow. I knew Barrington so 
well that I tliought even the delay of an hour, then two hours, 
strange. At length evening drew nigh, and, though I sat waiting in 
my quarters, no one came from him — not a letter uor a line apprised 
me what coxirse he meant to take. 

" Not caring to meet the mess at such a moment, I ordered my 
horses and drove up to a small station about twenty miles off, leaving 
word where I was to be found. I passed three days there in a state 
of fevered expectancy. Barrington made no sign, and at length, 
racked and distressed by the conflict with myself — now, summoning 
up an insolent spirit of defiance to the whole world, now, humbling 
myself in a consciousness of the evil line I had adopted — I returned 
one night to my quarters. The first news that greeted me was that 
Barrington had left us. He had accepted the ofter of a Native com- 
mand which had been made to him some months before, and of which 
we had often canvassed together all the advantages and disadvantages. 
I heard that he had written two letters to me before he started, and 
torn them up after they were sealed. I never heard from him, never 
saw him more, till I saw his dead body carried into camp the morn- 
ing he fell. 

"I must get to the end of this quickly, Fred, and I will tell you 
all at once, for it is a theme I will never go back on. I came to Eng- 
land, with despatciies about two years after Barrington's death. It 
was a hurried visit, for I was ordered to hold myself in readiness to 
return almost as soon as I arrived. I was greatly occupied, going 
about from place to place and person to person, so many great people 
desired to have a verbal account of what was doing in India, and to 
hear confidentially what I thought of matters there. In the midst of 
the mass of letters which the post brought me every morning, and 
through which, without the aid of an officer on the staff, I could 
never have got through, there came one whose singular address struck 
me. It was to ' Captain Ormsby Conyers, 22ud Light Dragoons,' a 
rank I had held fourteen years before that time in that same regiment. 
I opined at once that my correspondent must have been one who had 
known me at that time and not followed nic in the interval. I was 



];.vi!ia-\ciTOX. 307 

riglit. It was from old Mr. Barrington — George Barrington'a father. 
What version of my quarrel with his sou could have reached him, I 
cannot even guess, nor by what light he read my conduct iu the aflair, 
but such a letter I never read in my life. It was a challenge to meet 
liim anywhere, and with any weapon, but couched in language so in- 
sultino- as to impugn my courage, and hint that I would probably 
shelter myself behind the pretext of liis advanced age. ' But remem- 
ber,' said he, ' if God has permitted me to be an old man, it is yoio 
who have made me a childless one !' " 

Eor a few seconds he paused, overcome by emotion, and then went 
on : "I sat down and wrote him a letter of contrition, almost abject 
in its terms. I entreated him to believe that for every wrong I had 
done his noble-hearted son, my own conscience had repaid me in 
misery ten times told ; that if he deemed my self-condemnation in- 
sufficient, it was open to him to add to it whatever he wished of 
obloquy or shame ; that if he proclaimed me a coward before the 
world, and degraded me in the eyes of men, I would not offer one 
word in my defence. I cannot repeat all that I said in my deep hu- 
miliation. His answer came at last, one single line, re-enclosing my 
own letter to me : ' Lest I should be tempted to make use of this 
letter, I send it back to you ; there is no need of more between us.' 

" With this our intercourse ceased. When a correspondence was 
published in the ' Barrington Inquiry,' as it was called, I half hoped 
he would have noticed some letters of mine about George, but he 
never did, and in his silence I thought I read his continued unfor- 
giveness." 

" I hope, father, that you never believed the charges that were 
made against Colonel Barrington ?" 

" Not one of them ; disloyalty was no more his than cowardice. 1 
never knew the Englishman with such a pride of country as he had, 
nor could you have held out a greater bribe to him, for any achieve- 
ment of peril, than to say, 'What a gain it would be for England.' " 

" How was it that such a man should have had a l;ost of 
enemies ?" 

" Nothing so natural. Barrington was the most diffident of men ; 
his bashfulness amounted to actual pain. With strangers, this made 
him cold to very sternness, or, as is often seen in the effort to con- 
quer a natural defect, gave him a manner of over-easy confidence that 
looked like impertinence. And thus the man who would not have 
wounded the self-love of the meanest beggar, got the reputation of 
being haughty, insolent, and oppressive. Besides this, when he Avas 
in the right, and felt himself so, he took no pains to convince others 

X 2 



30S UAKUINOTOX. 

of the fact. His maxim was — liave I not heard it from his lips scorer. 
of times—' The end will show.' " 

"And yet the end will not show, father; his fame lias not been 
vindicated, nor his cliaracter cleared." 

" In some measure tlie fault of those wlio took up his cause. They 
seemed less to insist on reparation than punishment. They did not 
say, 'Do justice to this man's memory;' but, 'Come forward and 
own you wronged him, and broke his heart.' Now, the accusation 
brought against George Earriugton of assuming sovereign power was 
]iot settled by his death ; his relatives forgot this, or merged it in 
tlieir own charge against the Company. They mismanaged every- 
thing." 

" Is it too late to put them on the right track, father ; or could you 
do it ?" asked the youth, eagerly. 

" It is not too late, boy ! There is time for it yet. Tliero is, how- 
ever, one condition necessary, and I do not see how that is to be 
secured." 

" And what is lliat ?" 

" I should see Mr. "Barrington and confer with him alone ; he 
must admit me to his confidence, and, I own to you, I scarcely deem 
that possible." 

" May I try— may I attempt this ?" 

" I do not like to refuse you, Fred: but, if I say Yes, it will be to 
include you in my own defeated hopes. For many a year Mr. Bar- 
rington has refused to give one sign of his forgiveness ; for in his 
treatment of you I only recognise the honourable feeling of exempt- 
ing the sou from the penalty due to the father. But, perhaps, defeat 
is better than self-reproach, and as I have a strong conviction I could 
serve him, I am ready to risk a failure." 

" I may make the attempt, then ?" said Pred, eagerly. " I will 
write to Miss Barrington to-day." 

"And now of yourself. AVbat of your career ? How do you like 
soldiering, boy ?" 

" Less than ever. Sir ; it is only within the last week or two that 
we have seen anything beyond barrack or parade duty. Xow, how- 
ever, we have been called to repress what are called risings in the 
northern shires; and our task has been to ride at large unarmed 
mobs and charge down masses, whose grape-shot are brickbats. Not 
a very clorious campaign !" 

Tl;e old man smiled, but said nothing for a moment. 

'■■ Your Colonel is on leave, is he not ?" asked he. 



BAIllUXOTOJf. tiO'j 

" Yes. A\^e are commanded by tliat ^fajor Stapylton I told 
you of." 

" A smart officer, but no friend of yours, Fred," said the General, 
smiling. 

" No, Sir ; certainly no friend of mine," said the young man, re- 
solutely. " To refuse me a week's leave to go and meet my father, 
whom I have not seen for years, and, when pressed, to accord me four 
days, is to disgust me -with himself and the service togetlier." 

'' Well, as you cannot be my guest, Fred, I will be yours. I'll go 
back with you to head-quarters. Stapyltou is a name I used to be 
familiar with long ago. It may turn out that I know his family : 
but let us talk of Barriugton. I have been thinking ic would be 
better not to link any question of his own interests with my desire 
to meet him, but simply to say I'm in England, and wish to know if 
he would receive me." 

" It shall be as you wish, Sir. I will write to his sister by this 
post." 

'• And after one day in town, Fred, I am ready to accouipany you 
anywhere." 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 



MAJOR M 'C O K M I C K S LETTER. 



As it was not often that Major M'Cormick performed the part of 
a letter-writer, perhaps my reader will pardon me if I place hiui 
before him on one of these rare occasions. If success would always 
respond to labour, his would have been a real triumph, for the effort 
cost him many days, two sleepless nights, a headache, and half a 
quire of paper. 

Had not Stapylton retained him by an admirably-selected hamper 
of good things from a celebrated Italian warehouse in the Strand, I 
am afraid that M'Cormick's zeal might have cooled down to the zero 
of forgetfuluess ; but the reindeer bams and the Yarmouth bloaters, 
the potted shrimps and the preserved guavas, were an appeal that 
addressed themselves to that organ which with him paid tiie double 
debt of digestion and emotion. He felt that such a correspondent 
was worth a sacrifice, and he made it. That my reader may appre- 



SIO L>AimiXGTO>-. 

ciate the cost of tlic achieveineut, I would liave him imagine how o 
mason about to build a wall should be obliged to examiue each stone 
before he laid it, test its constituent qualities, its shape and its size — 
for it was thus that almost eveiy word occasioned the Major a refer- 
ence to the dictionary, spelling not having been cultivated in his 
youth, nor much practised in his riper years. Graces of style, how- 
ever, troubled him little; and, to recur to my figure of the stone- 
mason, if he was embarrassed in his search for the materials, he cared 
wonderfully little for the architecture. His letter ran thus, and the 
reader will perceive that it must have been written some weeks after 
the events recorded in the last chapter : 

" Mac's Xest, October, Thursday. 

" Deak S., — A touch of my old AYalcheren complaint has laid me 
up since Tuesday, and if the shakes make me illegible now, that's the 
reason why. Besides this, the weather is dreadful ; cold east winds 
and rain, sometimes sleet, every day ; and the turf so wet, it's only 
smoke, not fire. I believe it is the worst climate in Europe, and it 
gets wetter every year. 

" The hamper came to hand, but though it was marked ' Carriage 
paid, this side up,' they upset it and broke two bottles, and charged 
geven-and-fourpence halfpenny for the bringing it, which is, I think, 
enormous ; at least, Tim Hacket got over a thrashing-machine from 
Scotland last spring for twelve-and-four, and there's no comparison 
between the two. Thanks to you, however, all the same ; but if you 
can get any of this charge reduced, so much the better, not to speak 
<u'the bottles — both mixed pickles — which they ought to make good. 

" I am glad to see you arc touching up tlie iiadicals in the jN^orth ; 
powder and ball will do more to bring them to reason than spouting 
in Parliament. The papers say there was nine killed and twenty- 
three wounded ; and one fellow, the Stockport Bee, says, that, ' if the 
Butcher that led the dragoons isn't turned out of the service with 
disgrace, no gentleman will degrade himself by entering the army.* 
Isn't the Butcher yourself? Miss Barrington, always your friend, 
says it is ; and that if the account of anotlier paper, called the JEgis, 
be true, you'll have to go to a court-martial. I stood stoutly to you 
through it all, and declared that when the niggers was up at Jamaica, 
we hadn't time to take the names of the prisoners, and we always 
cut one of their ears off to know them again. Old Peter laughed till the 
tears ran down his face, but Dinah said, ' If 1 did not suppose, Sir, 
that you were inventing a very graceless joke, I'd insist on your 
leavinsj: this room and this house on the instant.' It was ten o'clock 



n.vranNUTux. 811 

nt iiigbl, and raining liartl, so you may guess I gave in. Bad as slie 
is, the young one is her equal, and I gave up all thoughts of what you 
call ' prosecuting my suit' in tliat quarter. She isn't even commonly 
civil to me, and when I ask her for, maybe, the mustard at dinner, she 
turns awav her head, and says, ' Darby, give Major M'Cormick the 
salt.' That's French politeness, perhaps ; but I'll pay them all off 
yet, for they can't get sixpence on the mortgage, and I'm only 
drinking out that bin of old JNIadeira before I tell them that I won't 
advance the money. Why -would I ? The Avomeu treat me worse 
than a dog, an;! old B. is neither more nor less than a fool. ])ill, the 
doctor, however he got it, says it's all up about the suit with the 
India Company ; that there's no proof of the Colonel's marriage at 
all, that the charges against him were never cleared up, and that 
nothing can come out of it but more disgrace and more exposure. 

" I wish you'd send me the correct account of what took place 
between you and one of your subalterns, for old Dinah keeps harping 
on it in a sort of mysterious and mischievous way of her own, that 
provokes me. Was it that he refused to obey orders, or thatyo?f, as 
she says, used such language towards him, that he wrote to report 
vou ? Give it to me in black and white, and maybe I won't try her 
temper with it. At all events, make out some sort of a case, for the 
old woman is now intolerable. She said yesterday, ' Major Stapylton, 
to whom I write by this post, will see that his visit here must be pre- 
ceded by an explanation.' There's her words for you, and I hope you 
like them ! 

" I think you are right to be in no hurry about purchasing, for 
many say the whole system will be changed soon, and the money 
would be clean thrown awaj'. Besides this, I have been looking over 
my bank-book, and I find I couldn't help you, just now. Two bad 
harvests, and the smut in the wheat last year, are running me mighty 
close. I won't finish this till to-morrow, for I'm going to dine at ' The 
Home' to-day. It is the granddaughter's birthday, and there was a 
regular shindy about who was to be asked. Old Peter was for a 
grand celebration, and inviting the Admiral, and the Gores, and God 
knows who besides ; and Dinah was for what she called a family party, 
consisting, I suppose, of herself and Darby. I'll be able, before I 
close this, to tell you how it ended ; for I only know now that Dill 
and his daughter are to be there. 

" AVednesday. — I sit down with a murdering headache to finish this 
letter. Maybe it was the pickled lobster, or the ice punch, or the 
other drink they called champagne-cup, that did it. But I never 
passed such a night since I was in the trenches, and I am shaking 



G12 BARKINGTOX. 

still, SO that T can scarce lioKl the pen. It was a jj^rancl dinner, to be 
sure, for ruined people to give. A'eiiison i'roni Carriek Woods, and 
game of every kind, with all kinds of wine; and my Lord Carrickmore 
taking in Miss Dinah, and the Admiral following up with the niece, 
and Tom Brabazon and Dean of Deanspark, and the devil knows who 
liesides, bringing up the rear, with Dill and your obedient servant. 
Every dish tliat came in. and every bottle that was uncorked, I said 
lo myself, ' There goes another strap on the property,' and I felt as 
if we were eating the trees, and the timber, and the meadows, all the 
time at table. 

" It's little of the same sympathy troubled the others. My Lord 
was as jolly as if he was dining with the King; and old Cobham 
called for more of the ]\Iadeira, as if it was an inn ; and Peter him- 
self — the heartless old fool — when he got up to thank the company 
for drinking his granddaughter's health, said : ' May I trust, that even 
at my advanced age, this may not be the last time I may have to 
speak my gratitude to you all for the generous warmtli with wliich 
you have pledged this toast ; but even should it be so, I shall carry 
away with me from this evening's happiness a glow of pleasure that 
will animate me to the last. It was only this morning I learned what 
I know you will all hear with satisfaction, that there is every proba- 
bility of a speedy arrangement of my long-pending suit wnth the 
Company, and that m}' child here will soon have her own again.' 
Grand applause and huzzas, with a noise that drowned ' Bother !' 
from myself, and in the middle of the row up jumps the Admiral, and 
cries out, 'Three cheers more for the Eajah's daughter!' I thought 
the old roof would come down ; and the blackguards in the kitchen took 
up the cry and slioiited like mad, and then we yelled again, and this 
went on for maybe live minutes. ' What does it all mean,' says I, 
' but a cheer for the Court of Bankruptcy, and Ilip, hip, hurray ! for 
the Marshalsea Prison !' After that, we had half an hour or more of 
flatteries and compliments. My Lord was so happy, and Peter Bar- 
rington so proud, and the Admiral so delighted, and the rest of us so 
much honoured, that I couldn't stand it any longer, but stole away, 
and got into the garden, to taste a little fresh air and quietness. I 
hadn't gone ten paces, wdien I came plump upon Miss Dinah, taking 
lier coffee luider a tree. ' Ton are a deserter, I fear, Sir,' said she, in 
her own snappish way ; so I thought I'd pay her off, and I said, ' To 
tell you the truth, Miss Barrington, at our time of life these sort of 
things are more full of sadness than pleasure. We know how hollow 
they are, and how little heart there is in the cheers of the people that 



UAlllUNtiXOX. 313 

are so jolly over your wine, but wouldn't stop to talk to you when 
you came dowu to water !' 

" ' The worse we think of the world, Major M'Cormick,' says she, 
' the more risk we run of making ourselves mean enough to suit it.' 

" ' I don't suspect, Ma'am,' says I, * that when people have known 
it so long as you and I, that they are greatly in love with it.' 

" 'They may, however, be mannerly in their dealings with it. Sir,' 
said she, fiercely; and so we drew the game, and settled the men for 
another battle. 

" ' Is there anything new. Ma'am ?' says I, after a while. 

" ' I believe not. Sir. The bread riots still continue in the North, 
where what would seem the needless severity of some of the military 
commanders have only exasperated the people. You have heard, I 
suppose, of Major Stapylton's business ?' 

■' ' Not a word, Ma'am,' says I ; 'for I never see a jjaper.' 

" ' I know very little of the matter myself,' says she. ' It was, 
it would appear, at some night assemblage at a place called 
Lund's Common. A young officer, sent forward by INIajor Stapyl- 
con to disperse the people, was so struck by the destitution and 
misery he witnessed, and the respectful attitude they exhibited, 
that he hesitated about employing force, and restricted himself to 
counsels of quietness and submission. He did more — not perhaps 
very prudently, as some would say — he actually emptied his pockets of 
all the money he had, giving even his watch to aid the starving horde 
before hira. What precise version of his conduct reached his superior, 
I cannot say ; but certainly Major Stapyltou commented on it in 
terms of the harshest severity, and he even hinted at a reason for the 
forbearance too oftensive for any soldier to endure.' 

" She did not seem exactly to know what followed after this, but 
some sort of inquiry appeared to take place, and witnesses were ex- 
amined as to what really occurred at Lund's Common ; and amongst 
others, a Lascar, who was one of the factory hands — having come to 
England a great many years before, with an ofiicer from India. This 
fellow's evidence was greatly in favour of young Conyers, and was 
subjected to a very severe cross-examination from yourself, in the 
middle of which he said something in Hindostanee that nobody in 
the court understood but you ; and after this he was soon dismissed, 
and the case closed for that day. 

" ' AVhat do you think. Major M'Cormick,' said she, ' but when the 
court of inquiry opened the next morning, Lal-Adeen, the Lascar, was 
jiot to be found high or low. The court have suspended their sittings to 



314 UA]iUlNUTO>'. 

search for him ; but only one opinion prevails — that Major Stapylton 
knows more of this man's escape than lie is likely to tell.' I have 
takeu great pains to give you her own very words in all this business^ 
and I wrote them down the moment I got home, for I thought to 
myself you'd, maybe, write about the matter to old Peter, and you 
ought to be prepared for the way they look at it ; the more because 
]Miss Dinah has a liking for young Conyers — what she calls a motherly 
afl'ection ; but I don't believe in the motherly part of it ! But of 
course you care very little what the people here say about you at all. 
At least, I know it wouldn't trouble me much, if I was in your place. 
At all events, whatever you do, do with a high hand, and the Horse 
Guards is sure to stand to you. Moderation may be an elegant 
thing in civil life, but I never knew it succeed in the army. 
There's the rain coming on again, and I just sent out six cars to the 
bog for turf; so I must conclude, and remain, yours sincerely, 

" Daniel T. M'Coemick. 

"I'm thinking of foreclosing the small mortgage I hold on 'The 
Home,' but as they pay the interest regularly, five per cent., I 
wouldn't do it if I knew things were going on reasonably well with 
them ; send me a line about wliat is doing regarding the' claim,' and 
it will guide me." 

* 

While Major M'Cormick awaited the answer to his postscript, 
which to him — as to a lady — was the important part of his letter, a 
short note arrived at 'The Home' from Mr. Witlioring, enclosing a 
letter he had just received from Major Stapylton. AVwthering's com- 
munication was in answer to one from Barrington, and ran thus : 

" Dkar E., — All things considered, I believe you are right in not 
I'eceiving General Conyers at this moment. It would probably, as 
you suspect, enable calumnious people to say that you could make 
your resentments play second when they came in the way of your 
interests. If matters go on well, as I have every hope they will, you 
can make the amende to him more satisfactorily and more gracefully 
hereafter. Buxton has at length consented to bring the case before 
tlie House ; of course it will not go to a division, nor, if it did, could 
it be carried ; but the discussion will excite interest, the Press will 
take it up, and after a few regretful and half-civil expressions from 
the INIinistry, the India Board will see the necessity of an arrange- 
ment. 

'•It is somewhat unfortunate and maJ a projws that Stapylton 



iJAr.uiyGTOx. 315 

should at this moment have got into an angry collision with young 
Conyers. I have not followed the case closely, but, as usual in such 
things, they seem each of them in the wrong — the j'oung sub wanting 
to make his generous sympathy supply the place of military obe- 
dience, and the old officer enforcing discipline at the cost of very 
harsh language. I karn this morning that Conyers has sold out, in- 
tending to demand a personal satisfaction. You will see by S.'s lette:- 
that he scarcely alludes to this part of the transaction at all. S. feels 
very painfully the attacks of the Press, and sees, perhaps more 
forcibly than I should in his place, the necessity of an exchange, 
iiead attentively the portion I have underlined." 

It is to this alone I have to direct my readers' attention, the 
first two sides of the letter being entirely filled with details about the 
"claim:" 

" ' The newspapei's have kept me before you for some days back,, 
much more, I doubt not, to their readers' amusement than to 
my own gratification. I could, if I pleased, have told these slanderers 
that I did not charge a crowd of women and children — that I did not 
cut down an elderly man at his own door-sill — that I did not use 
language " oftensive and unbecoming" to one of my oflacers, i'or his 
having remonstrated in the name of humanity against the cruelty of 
my orders. In a word, I might have shown the contemptible scrib- 
blers that I knew how to temper duty with discretion, as I shall know 
how, when the occasion oflers, to make the punishment of a calum- 
niator a terror to his colleagues. However, there is a very absurd 
story going about of a fellow whose insolence I certainly did reply to 
with the flat of my sabre, and whom I should be but too happy to 
punish legally, if he could be apprehended. That he made his escape 
after being captured, and that I connived at, or assisted in it — I 
forget which — you have probably heard. In fact, there is nothing 
too incredible to say of me for the moment ; and what is worse, I 
begin to suspect that the Home Secretary, having rather burned his 
fingers in the business, will not be very sorry to make an Admiral 
Byng of a Major of Hussars. Tor each and all these reasons I mean 
to exchange, and, if possible, into a regiment in India. This will, of 
course, take some time ; meanwhile, I have asked for and obtained 
ir-ome months' leave. You will be surprised at my troubling you with 
so much of purely personal matters, but they are the necessary 
preface to what I now come. You are aware of the letter I wrote 
some time back to Mr. Earrington, and the request it preferred. If 



■VlQ BAIfKINGTOX. 

I lie reply I received was not discouraging, neitlier was it conclusive. 
Tlie ordinary cominou-j)laces as to the shortness of our acquaintance, 
ihe want of sufficient knowledge of each other's tastes, characters, 
ttc, were duly dwelt upon ; but I could not at the end say, was I 
an accepted or a rejected suitor. Now that the critical moment of 
my life draws nigh — for such I feel the present emergency — an act 
of confidence in me would have more than donble value. Can you 
tell me tliat this is the sentiment felt towards me, or am I to k-arii 
that the yells of a rabble have drowned the voices of my friends ? In 
plain words, will Miss Josephine Barrington accept my ofl'er ? AVill 
she entrust her happinpss to my keeping, and change tlie darkest 
shadow that ever lowered over my life into a gleam of unspeakable 
brightness ? You have given me too many proofs of a friendly dispo- 
sition towards me, not to make me feel that you are the best fitted to 
bring this negotiation to a good issue. If I do not mistake you 
much, you look with favour on my suit and wish it success. I am 
ashamed to say how deeply my hopes have jeopardied my future 
liappiness, but I tell you frankly life has no such prize to my ambi- 
tion, nor, in fact, any such alternative of despair before me.' 

" jS'ow, my dear Barrington," continued Witheriug's letter, 
"there is a great deal in this that I like, and something with which 
I am not so much pleased. If, however, I am not the Major's 
advocate to the extent he asks, or expects me, it is because I feel that 
to be unjustly dealt with is a stronger claim on i/oiir heart than that 
of any other man I ever met with, and the real danger here would be 
that you should suffer that feeling to predominate over all others. 
Consult your granddaughter's interests, if you can, independently of 
this ; reflect well if the plan be one likely to promise her happiness. 
Take your sensible, clear-headed sister into your counsels ; but, above 
all, ascertain Josephine's own sentiments, and do nothing in direct 
opposition to them." 

" There, Dinah," said Barrington, placing the letter in her hands, 
" this is as much to your address as to mine. Bead it over carefully, 
and you'll find me in the garden when you have done." 

Miss Barrington laid down her great roll of worsted work, and 
began her task without a word. She had not proceeded very far, 
however, when Josephine entered in search of a book. " I beg 
pardon, aunt, if I derange you." 

" AVe say disturb, or inconvenience, in English, Miss Barrington. 
What is it you are looking for ?" 



UAIUvlNUTOX. .'517 

" The ' Legend of Montrose,' aunt. I am so much anmsecl by that 
Major Dalgetty that I can think of nothing but him." 

" Umph !" muttered the old lady. " It was of a character not alto- 
gether dissimilar I was thinking myself at that moment. Sit down 
here, cliild, and let me talk to you. Tliis letter that I hold here, 
Josephine, concerns yo/f." 

"Me, aunt — concerns me? And who on earth could have written 
a letter in which I am interested ?" 

" Tou shall hear it." Slie coughed only once or twice, and then 
went on : " It's a proposal of marriage — no less. That gallant 
soldier who left us so lately has fallen in love with you — so he says, 
and of course he knows best. He seems fully aware that, being older 
than you, and graver in temperament, his offer must come heralded 
with certain expressions almost apologetic ; but he deals with the 
matter skilfully, and tells us that being well off as regards fortune, 
of good blood, and with fair prospects before him, he does not wish to 
regard his suit as hopeless. Tour grandfather was minded to learn 
how you might feel disposed to accept his addresses by observing 
your demeanour, by watching what emotion mention of him might 
occasion, by seeing how far you felt interested in his good or ill repute. 
I did not agree with him. I am never for the long road when there 
is a short one, and therefore I mean to let you hear his letter. This 
is what he writes." "While Miss Dinah read the extract which 
the reader has just seen, she never noticed, or, if noticed, never 
attended to, the agitation in her niece's manner, or seemed to 
remark that from a deep crimson at first her cheeks grew pale as 
death, and her lips tremulous. "There, child," said Miss Dinah, as 
she finished — " there are his own words ; very ardent words, but 
withal respectful. What do you think of them — of them and of 
him?" 

Josephine hung down her head, and with her hands firmly clasped 
together, she sat for a few moments so motionless that she seemed 
scarcely to breathe. 

" "Would you like to think over this before you speak of it, Jo- 
sephine ? "Would you like to take this letter to your room and ponder 
over it alone ?" 

No answer came but a low, half-subdued sigh. 

" If you do not wish to make a confidante of me, Josephine, I am 
sorry for it, but not offended." 

" No, no, aunt, it is not that," bui'st she in ; " it is to you, and you 
iilone, I wash to speak, and I will be as candid as yourself. I am not 



1US BAURINGXOX. 

surprised at the contents of this letter. I mean, I was in a measure 
prepared for them." 

" That is to say, child, that he paid you certain attentions ?" 

She nodded assent. 

" And how did you receive them ? Did you let him understand 
tliat you were not indiflbrent to liim — that his addresses were agree- 
able to you ?" 

Another, but shorter nod, replied to this question. 

" I must confess," said the old lady, bridling up, " all this amazes 
me greatly. "Wby, child, it is but the other day you met each other 
for the first time. How, when, and where you found time for such 
relations as you speak of, I cannot imagine. Do you mean to tell 
me, Josephine, that you ever talked alone together?" 

" Constantly, aunt!" 

" Constantly !" 

" Yes, aunt. AVe talked a great deal together." 

" But how, child — where r" 

" Here, aunt, as we used to stroll together every morning through 
the wood, or in the garden ; then, as we went on the river or to the 
waterfall." 

" I can comprehend nothing of all this, Josephine. I know you 
mean to deal openly with me, so say at once, how did this intimacy 
begin ?" 

. " I can scarcely say how, aunt, because I believe we drifted into it. 
"We used to talk a great deal of ourselves, and at length we grew to 
talk of each other : of our likings and dislikings ; our tastes and 
our tempers. And these did not always agree !" 

"Indeed!" 

" jS'o, aunt," said she, with a heavy sigh. "We quarrelled very 
often ; and once — I shall not easily forget it — once seriously." 

" "What was it about ?" 

" It was about India, aunt ; and he was in the wrong, and had to 
own it afterwards, and ask pardon." 

" He must know much more of that country than you, child. 
How came it that you presumed to set up your opinion against 
his ?" 

" The presumption was his," said she, haughtily. " He spoke of 
Ms father's position as something the same as my father's. He 
talked of him as a Eajah !" 

" I did not know that he spolie of his father," said Miss Dinah, 
thoughtfully. 




'- -0>7^ 



BAKIUNGTON. IJJL) 

" Oh, lie spoke much of him. He told me, amongst other things, 
how he had been a dear friend of papa's ; that as young men they 
lived together like brothers, and never were separate till the fortune 
of life divided them." 

" AVhat is all this I am listening to? Of wliom are you tellin"- 
me, Josephine ?" 

" Of Fred, Aunt Dinah ; of Ered, of course." 

" Do you mean yovmg Conyers, child ?" 

" Yes. How could I mean any other ?" 

" Ta, ta, ta !" said the old lady, drumming with her heel on the 
floor and her fingers on the table. " It has all turned out as I said 
it would ! Peter, Peter, will you never be taught wisdom ! Listen 
to me, child," said she, turning almost sternly towards Josephine. 
" We have been at cross-purposes with each other all this time. This 

letter -which I have just read for yon " She stopped suddenly as 

she reached thus far, and after a second's pause, said, " Wait for me 
here ; I will be back presently. I have a word to say to your grand- 
father." 

Leaving poor Josephine in a state of trepidation and bewilderment 
— ashamed at the confession she had just made, and trembling with a 
vague sense of some danger that impended over her — Miss Dinah 
hurried away to the garden. 

" Here's a new sort of worm got into the celery, Dinah," said he, 
as she came up, " and a most destructive fellow he is. He looks like 
a mere rufiling of the leaf, and you'd never suspect him." 

" It is your peculiarity never to suspect anything, brother Peter, 
even after you have had warning of peril. Do you remember my 
telling you, when we were up the Ehiue, what would come of that 
intimacy between Conyers and Josephine?" 

" I think I do," said he, making what seemed an effort of me- 
mory. 

" And can you recal the indolent, slipshod answer you made me 
about it ? But of course you cannot. It was an old maid's appre- 
hensions, and you forgot the whole thing. Well, Peter, I was right 
and you were wrong." 

" ISTot the first time that the double event has come off so !" said 
he, smiling. 

" You are too fond of that cloak of humility, Peter Barrington. 
The plea of Guilty never saved any one from transportation !" 
Waiting a moment to recover her breath after this burst of passion, 
she went on : " After I had read that letter you gave me, I spoke to 



320 UAKIilXOTOX. 

Josepliine ; I told lier in a few words how it referred to her, and 
frankly asked her what she thought of it. She was very candid 
and very open, and I must say, also, A'ery collected and composed. 
Young ladies of the present da}' ])ossess that inestimable advantage 
over their predecessors. Their emotions do not overpower them." 
This was the second time of " blowing off the steam," and she had 
to wait a moment to rally. " She told me, frankly, that she was not 
unprepared for such an offer ; that tender passages had already been 
exchanged between them. The usual tomfoolery, I conclude — that 
supreme effort of selfishness people call love — in a word, Peter, 
she was in no wise disinclined to the proposal ; the only misfortune 
was, she believed it came from young Conyers." 

Barrington would have laughed, and laughed heartily, if he dared. 
As it was, the effort to restrain himself sent the blood to his head, 
and made his eyes run over. 

"You may well blush, Peter Barrington," said she, shaking her 
finger at him. " It's all your own doing." 

" And when you undeceived her, Dinah, what did she say?" 

" I have not done so yet, but my impression is, that so susceptible 
a young lady should find no great difiiculty in transferring her affec- 
tions. For the present, I mean to limit myself to declaring that this 
offer is not from Conyers ; if she has curiosity to know the writer she 
shall learn it. I always had my doubts about these convents I 
Bread and water diet makes more epicures than abstinents!" 



I 



UAuni^uTON. 321 



CHAPTER, XL. 

INTEKCIIANGED CONFESSIONS. 

Miss Barringtox, with Josepliine at one side and Polly Dill 
oil the other, sat at work in lier little room that opened on tbo 
ij.irden. Each was engaged in some peculiar task, and each seemed 
bent upon her labour in tliat preoccupied way, which would imply 
that the cares of needlework make no mean call upon human facul- 
ties. A close observer would, however, have remarked that though 
Miss Barrington stitched vigorously away at the background for a 
fierce tiger with measly spots over him, Polly seemed oftener to 
contemplate than continue her handiwork ; while Josephine's looks 
strayed constantly from the delicate tracery she was following, to 
the garden, where the roses, blended with the jasmine and the droop- 
ing honeysuckles, luuig listlessly over the boughs of the apple-tree. 
" If your work wearies }'ou, Eifiue," said Miss Dinah, "you bad 
better read for us." 

" Oh no, not at all, aunt ; I like it immensely. I was only wonder- 
ing why one should devise such impossible foliage, when we have 
the real thing before us, in all its grace and beauty." 

" Humph !" said the old lady ; " the sight of a real tiger would not 
put me out of countenance with my own." 

'• It certainly ought not. Ma'am," said Polly ; while she added, in 
a faint whisper, "for there is assuredly no rivalry in the case." 

" Perhaps Miss Dill is not too absorbed in her study of nature, as 
applied to needlework, to read out the newspaper." 

" I will do it with pleasure, Ma'am. AYhere shall I begin r" 
" Deaths and marriages first, of course, child. Then fashion and 
varieties ; take the accidents afterwards, and close with anything re- 
marka.ble in politics, or any disastrous occurrence in high life." 

Polly obeyed to the letter ; once only straying into an animated 
account of a run with the Springfield fox-hounds, where three riders 
out of a large field came in at the death ; when Miss Dinah stopped 
lior abruptly, saying, " I don't care for the obituary of a fox, young 
lady. Go on with something else." 

" "Will you have the recent Tragedy at Eing's End, Ma'am r" 

Y 



322 IJ.VIJUINGTOX. 

'' I know it by heart. Is there notbiug new iu the fashions — how 
are bonnets worn ? "What's tlie latest sleeve ? "What's the colour 
in vogue ?" 

"A delicate blue, Ma'am; a little off tlic shy, and on the 
hyacinth." 

" Very becoming to lair people," said Miss Dinali, with a shake 
of her blonde ringlets. 

"' The Prince's Hussars !' AYould you like to hear about ihcm 
Ma'am ?" 

" By all means." 

" It's a very sliort paragraph. ' The internal troubles of this un- 
happy regiment would seem to be never ending. "We last week in- 
formed our readers that a young subaltern of the corps, the son of 
one of our most distinguished Generals, had thrown up his commission 
and repaired to the Continent, to enable him to demand a personal 
satisfaction from his commanding officer, and we now learn that the 
Major in question is precluded from accepting the gage of battle 
by something stronger than military etiquette.' " 

" Eead it again, child; that vile newspaper slang always puzzles 
me." 

Polly recited the passage in a clear and distinct voice. 

" "What do you understand by it, Polly ?" 

" I take it to mean nothing, Madam. One of those stirring pieces 
of intelligence which excites curiositj^, and are no more expected to 
be explained than a bad riddle." 

" It cannot surely be, that he shelters himself under his position 
towards us ? That I conclude is hardly possible!" Thougli Miss Har- 
rington said this as a reflection, she addressed herself almost directly 
to Josephine. 

" As far as I am concerned, aunt," answered Josephine, promptly, 
" the Major may fight the Monster of the Drachenfels to-morrow, if 
he wishes it." 

" Oh, here is another mystery, apparently on the same subject. ' Tlie 
Lascar, Lal-Adccn, whom our readers will remember as having figured 
in a police-court a few days back, and was remanded till the con- 
dition of his wound — a severe sabre-cut on the scalp — should permit 
his further examination, and on the same night made his escape from 
tlie hospital, has once again, and very unexpectedly, turned up at 
Boulogne-sur-Mer. His arrival in this country, some say voluntarily, 
others under a warrant issued for his apprehension, will probably 
take place to-day or to-morrow, and, if report speak truly, be followed 
by some of the most singular confessions which the public has heard 



HARRINGTON. 323 

tor a ^ong time back.' The I^ost contradicts tlie statement, and de- 
clares 'no such person has ever been examined before the magistrate, 
if he even have any existence at all.' " 

" And what interest has all this for us ?" asked Miss Dinah, 
sharply. 

"You do not forget, Ma'am, that this is tlio same man Major 
Stapylton was said to have wounded ; and whose escape, scandal 
hinted, he had connived at, and who now ' does not exist.' " 

" I declare, Miss Dill, I remember no such thing; but it appears 
to nie that Major Stapylton occupies a very considerable space iu 
j'our own tlioughts." 

" I fancy Polly likes him, aunt," said Josephine, with a slight 
smile. 

" "Well, I will own he interests me ; there is about him a mysterious 
something that says, ' I have more in my head, and on my heart, than 
you think of; and more perhaps than you could carry, if the burden 
Mere yours.' " 

" A galley-slave might say the same. Miss Dill." 

" No doubt of it, Ma'am ; and if there be men who mix in the 
great world, and dine at grand houses, with something of the galle}'- 
slave on their conscience, they assuredly impress us with an amount 
of fear that is half a homage. One dreads them as he does a tigei", 
but the terror is mingled with admiration." 

" Tins is nonsense, young lady, and baneful nonsense too, begotten 
of Erench novels and a sickly sentimentality. I hope Fifine de- 
spises it as heartily as I do." The passionate wrath which she dis- 
played extended to the materials of her work-basket, and while 
rolls of worsted were upset here, needles were thrown there ; and at 
last, pushing her embroidery-frame rudely away, she arose and left 
the room. 

" Dearest Polly, how could you be so indiscreet. Tou know, far 
better than I do, how little patience she has with a paradox." 

" My sweet Pifine," said the other, in a low whisper, " I was dying 
to get rid of her, and I knew there was only one way of effecting it. 
Tou may remark that, whenever she gets into a rage, she rushes out 
into the flower-garden, and walks round and round till she's ready 
to drop. There she is already ; you may gauge her anger by the 
number of her revolutions in a minute." 

" But why did you wish her away, Polly ?" 

" I'll tell you why ; that is, there is a charming Prencli word for 
what I mean, the verb * Agacer,' all untranslatable as it is. Now there 
are moments when a person working in the same room — reading, 

y 2 



324 UAKUIKOTOX. 

v.ritmnf, loolcing out of theMiiuIow — becomes an insupportable inflic- 
tion. You reason, and say, 'How absurd, bow cliildisb, how ungenerous,' 
and so forth. It won't do; for as you look round be is there still, 
and by bis mere presence keeps up the ferment in your thoughts. 
Ton fancy, at last, that be stands between you and your inner self, a 
uitness that won't let your own conscience whisper to you, and you 
i-ome in the end to hate him. Your dear aunt was on the bigli road 
to this goal, when I bethought me of my expedient ! And now 
\\c are all alone, dearest, make me a confession." 

"AVbat is it?" 

" You do not like Major Stapylton ?" 

" iSV" 

" And you do Jilce somebody else r" 

'■' Perhaps," said slie, slowly, and dividing the syllables as she spoke 
tbem . 

" Tbat being tlie case, and seeing, as you do, that your aunt is en- 
tirely of your own mind, at least as to the man you do not care for, 
Avhy don't you declare as much frankly to your grandfather, and break 
off the negotiation at once ?" 

" Just because that dear old grandpapa asked me not to be pre- 
cipitate — not to be rash. He did not tell me that I must love Major 
Stapylton, or nnist marry him ; but he said, ' If you only knew, 
Pifine, what a change in our fortunes would come of a change in i/oitr 
feelings ; if you could but imagine, child, how the whole journey of 
life might be rendered easier, all because you took the right-hand 
road instead of the left ; if you could guess these things, and what 
might jbllow them ' " !She stopped. 

''Well, goon." 

" jN^o. I have said all that he said ; he kissed my cheek as he got 
thus far, and hurried away from the room." 

" And you, like a sweet, obedient child, hastened away to yours ; 
wrote a farewell, a heart-broken farewell, to Fred Conyers ; and 
solemnly swore to your own conscience you'd marry a man you dis- 
liked. These are the sort of sacrifices the world has a high admira- 
tion lor ; but do you kiiow, Fifine, the world limps a little in its 
morality sometimes, and is not one half tlie fine creature it thinks 
itself. For instance, in the midst of all its enthusiasm for you, it has 
forgotten that in accepting for your husband a man you do not love, 
you are doing a dishonesty ; and that, besides this, you really love 
another. It is what the Frencli call the aggravating circumstance." 
"I mean to do }iothing of the kind!" broke in Fifine, boldly. 
'' Your li'cture does not address itself to we." 



n.vmiixaTON'. :i2'J 

" Do not be anirrv, Fifinc," said the otlier, calinl3\ 

"It is rather too hard to be rebuked for tlie faults one nili^ht have, 
but has not, committed. It's bke snyiug how wet you'd have been 
liad you fallen into that pool." 

" A\^el], it also means, don't fall into the pool !" 

" Do you know, Polly," said Josephine, archly, '■ I have a sort of 
suspicion that 3'ou don't dislike this M;ijor yourself ! Am I right r" 

" I'd not say you were altogether wrong; that is, he interests me, 
or rather he puzzles me, and it piques my ingenuity to read him, 
just as it would to make out a cipher to which I had oidy one half 
llie key." 

" Sucli a feellug as that would never inspire a tender interest, at 
least with ;«r." 

" jN^or did I say it was, Pifine. I have read in some book of my 
lather's how certaiu physicians inoculated themselves with plague, 
the better to note the phenomena, and trace tiie course ; and I own 
I can inulcrstand their zeal, and I'd risk somethiug to decipher this 
man." 

" This may be very nice in medicine, Poll}^, but very bad in morals ! 
At all events, don't catch the plague for the sake of saving we/" 

" Oh ! I assure you any step I take shall be done in the interests 
of science solely ; not but that I have a small debt to acquit towards 
the gallant Major." 

" You have 1 AVhat can it possibly be ?" 

" Well, it was this wise," said she, with a half sigh. " "We met at 
a country-house here, and he paid me certaiu attentions, made me 
compliments on my riding, which I knew to be good, and my singing, 
which was just tolerable ; said the usual things which mean nothing, 
and a few of those more serious ones, which are supposed to be more 
significant; and then he asked my father's leave to come and visit 
him, and actually fixed a day and an hour. And we, poor people, all 
delighted with the flattery of such high notice, and thinking of the 
effect upon our neighbours so splendid a visitor would produce, 
made the most magnificent preparations to receive him — papa in a 
black satin waistcoat, mamma in her lilac ribbons. I myself — having 
put the roof on a pigeon-pie, and given the last finishing touch to a 
I)agoda in ruby jully — I, in a charming figured muslin and ablush 
rose in my hair, awaited the hour of attack ! And, after all, he never 
came. A"o, Fifine, never came! He forgot us, or he changed his 
mind, or something else turned up that he liked better ; or — which is 
just as likely as any of the three — he thought it would be a cliarm- 
ing piece of impertinence to pass off on such small folic, who jt''-> 



32G BAliniNGTO'. 

sumed to fancy themselves company for liiin. At all events, Fifino, 
Ave saw him no more. He went his way somewhere, and we were left 
lamenting!" 

" And you really liked him, Polly ?" 

" ISo, of the two, I disliked him ; but I wished very much that he 
might like me ! I saw him xavy overbearing and very insolent to those 
who were certainly his equals, assuming a most oiiensive superiority 
everywhere and to any one, and I thought what an awful humilia- 
tion it would be if so great a personage were to be snubbed by the 
Doctor's daughter. I wanted to give a lesson which could only be 
severe if it came from one humble as myself ; but he defeated me, 
l^ifine, and I am still his debtor! If I did not like him before, you 
may believe that I hate him now, and I came oil' here this morning, 
in hot haste, for no other object than to set you against him, and induce 
you to regard him as I do." 

" There was little need," said Fifine, calmly ; " but here comes my 
aunt back again. Make your submission quickly, Polly, or it will be 
too late to expect mercy." 

" I'll do better," said Polly, rising. " I'll let my trial go on in my 
absence ;" and with this she stepped out of the window as MissBar- 
ringtou entered by the door. 



CHAPTER XLI. 



STAPYLTON S A^ISIT AT " THE II05IE. 



So secretly had Barriugton managed, that he negotiated the loan 
of five hundred pounds on a mortgage of the cottage, without ever 
letting his sister hear of it ; and when she heard on a particular day 
that her brother expected Mr. Kinshela, the attorney, from Kilkenny 
on business, she made the occasion the pretext of a visit to Doctor 
Dill, taking Josephine with her, to pass the day there. 

Barrington was therefore Iree to receive his lawyer at his ease, and 
confer M'ith him alone. Not that he cared much for his company; 
he felt towards the attorney pretty much as an ardent soldier feels to 
a non-combatant, the commissary, or the paymaster. Had he been 
a barrister, indeed, old Peter would have welcomed him witli the zest 
of true companionship ; he would have ransacked his memory for 



LAUKINOTOK. 327 

anecdotes, und prepared for the mcoling as for au encounter of sliarp 
wits. Now, it is no part of my task to present Mr. Kinshela more 
tlian passingly to ray reader, and I will merely say that he was a 
shrewd, common-place man, whose practice rarely introduced him to 
the higher classes of his county, and who recognised Barrington, even 
iu his decline, as a person of some consideration. 

They had dined well, and sat over their wine in the little dining- 
room over the river, a favourite spot of Barrington's when he wished 
to be confidential, for it was apart from the rest of the cottage, and 
removed from all intrusion. 

" So, you won't tell me, Kinshela, who lent us this money ?" said 
the old man, as he passed the decanter across the table. 

" It is not that I won't, Sir, but I can't. It was in answer to au 
advertisement I inserted in the Times, that I got an application from 
Granger and "Wood to supply particulars ; and I must say there was 
no unnecessary scrutiu}^ on their part. It was as speedily settled a 
transaction as I ever conducted, and I believe in my heart we might 
have had a thousand pounds on it just as easily as five hundred." 

" As well as it is, Kinshela. When the day of repayment comes 
round, I'll perhaps find it heavy enough ;" and he sighed deeply as he 
spoke. 

" AVho knows, Sir ? There never was a time that capital expended 
on land was more remunerative than the present." 

Now, Mr. Kinshela well knew that the destination of the money 
they spoke of was not in this direction, and that it had as little to 
say to subsoil drainage or top dressing, as to the conversion of the 
heathen ; but he was angling for a confidence, and he did not see 
how to attain it. 

Barrington smiled before he answered ; one of those sad, melan- 
choly smiles which reveal a sorrow a man is not able to suppress, and 
then he said, " I'm afraid, Kinshela, I'll not test the problem this 
time." 

" It will be better employed, perhaps. Sir. Ton mean, probably, 
to take your granddaughter up to the drawing-room at the Castle?" 
" I never so much as thought of it, Joe Kinshela ; the fact is, that 
money is going where I have sent many a hundred before it — in 
law ! I have had a long, wearisome, costly suit, that has well-nigh 
beggared me ; and of that sum you raised for me I don't expect to 
have a shilling by this day week." 

" I heard something about that. Sir," said the other, cautiously. 

" And what was it you heard ?" 

"'' Nothing, of course, worth repeating ; nothiug from any one that 



C2S BARRTNGTON. 

knew the matter himself; just tlie gossip that goes about, and no 
more." 

" Well, let us hear the gossip that goes about, and I'll promise to 
tell you if it's true." 

" Well, indeed," said Kinshela, drawing a long breath, " they say 
tliat your claim is against the India Board." 

Barriugtou nodded. 

"And that it is a matter little short of a million is in dispute." 

He nodded again, twice. 

" And they say, too — of course, on very iusuflicient knowledge — 
that if you would have abated your demands once on a time, you 
might readily have got a hundred thousand pounds, or even more." 

" That's not impossible," muttered Barrington. 

" But that, now " he stammered for an instant, and then 

stopped. 

" But now ? Go on." 

" Sure, Sir, they can know nothing about it; it's just idle talk, 
and no more." 

" Go on, and tell me what they say «o«f," said Barrington, with a 
.strong force on the last word. 

" They say you'll be beaten. Sir," said he, with an effort. 

" And do they say why, Kinshela ?" 

" Yes, Sir ; they say you won't take advice ; that no matter what 
]\Ir. "Withering counsels, or is settled in consultation, you go j^our 
own way and won't mind them ; and that you have been heard to 
declare you'll have all, or nothing." 

" They give me more credit than I deserve, Kinshela. It is, per- 
haps, what I ought to have said, for I have often tlwvgltt it. But in 
return for all the kind interest my neighbours take about me, let them 
know that matters look better for us than they once did. Perhaps," 
added he, with a laugh, " perhaps I have overcome my obstinacy, or 
perhaps my opponents have yielded to it. At all events, Joe, I 
believe I see land at last, and it was a long ' look-out' and many a 
fog-bank I mistook for it." 

" And what makes you think now that you'll win r" said the other, 
growing bolder by the confidence reposed in him. 

Barrington half started at the presumption of the question; but he 
suddenly remembered liow it was he himself who had invited the dis- 
cussion, so ho said, calmly, 

" My hope is not without a foundation, and I expect by the mail 
to-night a friend who may be able to tell me that I have won, or as 
<:ood as won." 



I5AKU1NGTON. liJ;) 

Kinsliela was dying to ask wlio the Irieiul was, l)iit oven liis 
curiosity had its prudential limits ; so ho merely took out liis walch, 
and, looking at it, remarked that the mail would pass in about twenty 
minutes or so. 

" By the way, I uiustn't forget to send a servant to wait on tlie 
roadside ;" aud he rung the bell and said, " Let Darby go up to the 
road, and take Major Stapylton's luggage when he arrives." 

" Is that the Major Stapylton is going to be broke for the doings 
at Manchester, Sir ?" asked Kinsliela. 

" He is the same Major Stapylton that a rascally press is now 
libelling and calumniating," said Barriugton, liotly. " As to being 
broke, I don't believe that we have come yet to that pass in England, 
that the discipline of our army is administered by every scribbler in 
a newspaper." 

" J hiunbly crave your pardon. Sir, if I have said the slightest 
thing to oflend; but 1 only meant to ask, was he tlie officer they were 
making such a fuss about r" 

" lie is an officer of the higiiest distinction, and a w"ell-born gentle- 
man to boot — two admirable reasons for the assaults of a contemptible 
party. Look you, Kinshela ; you and I are neither of us very young 
or inexperienced men, but 1 would ask you, have we learned any 
wiser lesson from our intercourse with life than to witlihold our judg- 
ment on the case of one who rejects the sentence of a mob, and 
appeals to the verdict of his equals?" 

" But if he cut the people down in cold blood — if it be true that 
he laid open that poor black fellow's cheek from the temple to the 
chin " 

" If he did no sucli thing," broke in Barrington ; " tliat is to say, 
if there is no evidence whatever that he did so, what will your legal 
mind say then, Joe Kinshela?" 

" Just this, Sir. I'd say — what all the newspapers are saying — 
that he got the man out of tlie way — bribed and sent him oflV 

" Why not hint that he murdered him, aud buried him within the 
precincts of the gaol ? I declare I wonder at your moderation." 

" I am sure, Sir, that if I suspected he was an old friend of 
yours " 

" Nothiug of the kind — a friend of very short standing; but what 
lias that to say to it ? Is he less entitled to fair play whether he kuev,- 
nie or not ?" 

" All I know of the case is from the newspapers, and as I scarceK- 
see one worn in his favour, I taKe it there is not much to be said in 
Ins defence." 



330 BAIIRINGTOX. 

" Well, if my ears don't deceive me, that was the guard's liorn I 
heard then. The man himself will be here in five minutes or so. 
You shall conduct the prosecution, Kinshela, and I'll be judge be- 
tween 3'ou." 

"Heaven forbid, Sir; on no account wliatever!" said Kinshela, 
trembling all over. " I'm sure, Mr. Bariington, you couldn't think 
of repeating what I said to you in confidence " 

" N'o, no, Kinshela. You shall do it yourself; and it's only fair to 
tell you that he is a right clever fellow, and fully equal to the task of 
defendiug himself." Peter arose as he spoke, and walked out upon 
tlie lawn, affectedly to meet his coming guest, but in reality to cover 
a laugh that was half smothering him, so comical was the misery ex- 
pressed in the attorney's face, and so ludicrous was his look of 
terror. 

Of course I need not say that it never occurred to Barrington to 
realise his threat, which he merely uttered in the spirit of that 
quizzing habit that was familiar to him. " Yes, Kinshela," cried he, 
" liere he comes. I recognise his voice already ;" and Barrington 
now walked forward to welcome his friend. 

It was not till after some minutes of conversation, and when the 
light fell strongly on Stapylton's features, that Barrington saw how 
changed a few weeks of care had made him. He looked at the least 
ten years older than before. His eyes had lost their bold and daring 
expression, too, and were deep sunk, and almost furtive in their 
glance. 

" You are tired, I fear," said Barrington, as the other moved his 
hand across his forehead, and, with a slight sigh, sank down upon a 
sofa. 

" Less tired than w^orried — harassed," said he, faintly. " Just as at 
a gambling-table a man may lose more in half an hour's high play 
than years of hard labour covild acquire, there are times in life when 
we dissipate more strength and vigour than we ever regain. I 
have had rougli usage since I saw you last," said he, with a very 
sickly smile. " How are the ladies — well, I hope?" 

" Perfectly well. They have gone to pass the day with a neigh- 
bour, and will be home presently. By the way, I left a friend here a 
few moments ago. What can have become of him ?" and he rang the 
bell hastily. " AVhere's Mr. Kinshela, Darby?" 

" Gone to bed. Sir. He said he'd a murthering headache, and 
hoped your honour Avould excuse him." 

Though Barrington laughed heartily at tliis message, Stapyliou 



EAItRTNGTOX. 351 

never asked the reason, but sat deeply immersed in tliouglit, and un- 
mindful of all around him. 

" I half suspect you ought to follow his good example, Major," 
said Peter. "A mug of mulled claret for a nightcap, and a good 
sleep, will set you all riglit." 

" It Avill take more than that to do it," said the Major, sadly. 
Then suddenly rising, and pacing the room with quick, impatient 
steps, he said, " AYliat could have induced you to let them bring your 
claim before the House? They are going to do so, ain't they?" 

" Yes. Tom Withering says that notliing will be so effectual, and 
T thought you agreed with him." 

" Never. Nothing of the kind. I said, threaten it — insist that if 
they continue the opposition, that you will — that you must do so ; but 
I never was the fool to imagine that it could bo a really wise step. 
AVhat's the fate of all such motions? I ask you. There's a speech — 
sometimes an able one — setting forth a long catalogue of unmerited 
injuries and long suffering. There's a claim made out that none 
can find a flaw in, and a story that, if Parliament was given to soft- 
ness, might move men almost to tears, and at the end of it up rises a 
Minister to say how deeply he sympathises with the calamity of the 
case, but that this House is, after all, not the fitting locality for a 
discussion which is essentially a question of law, and that, even if it 
were, and if all the allegations were established — a point to which he 
by no means gave adhesion — there was really no available fund at the 
disposal of the Crown to make reparation for such losses. Have you 
not seen this, or something like this, scores of times ? Can you tell 
me of one that succeeded?" 

" A case of such wrong as this cannot go without reparation," 
said Peter, with emotion. " The whole country will demand it." 

" The country will do no such thing. If it were a question of 
penalty or punishment — yes ! the country would demand it. Pine, 
imprison, transport, hang him ! are easy words to utter, and cheap 
ones ; but pay him, reinstate him, reward him ! have a very different 
sound and significance. They figure in the budget, and are for- 
midable on the hustings. Depend on it, Mr. P)arrington, the step 
will be a false one." 

" It has been my fate never to have got the same advice for two 
weeks together since the day I entered on this weary suit," said 
Barrington, with a peevishness not natural to him. 

" I may as well tell you the whole truth at once," said Stapyltou. 
^'The Board have gone back of all their good intentions towards us : 



3;13 BABEIXGTOX. 

some recent arrivals from Tudia, it is said, have kindled again tlie 
old fire of opposition, and we are to be met by a resistance bold 
and uncompromising. They are prepared to deny everything we 
assert ; in fact, they have resolved to sweep all the pieces off the board 
and begin the whole game again, and all because you have taken 
this unfortunate course of an appeal to Parliament." 

" Have you told AV^'ithering this ?" 

" Yes ; I have talked tlic matter over for nearly four hours with 
him. Like a lawyer, he was most eager to know from what source 
came the new evidence so damaging to us. I could only guess at 
liiis." 

" And jour guess was " 

" I scarcely like to own to you that I take a less favourable view of 
mankind than you do, who know it better; but in this case my sus- 
picion attaches to a man who was once your son's dearest friend, but 
grew to be afterwards his deadliest enemy." 

" I will not have this said, INfajor Stapyltou. I know whom you 
mean, and I don't believe a word of it." 

Stapyltou simply shrugged his shoulders, and coutinued to pace 
the room without speaking, while Barriugton went ou rautteriug, 
half aloud, " No, no, impossible ; (]uite impossible. These things are 
not in nature. I don't credit them." 

" Tou like to think very well of the world, Sir !" said the i\rajor, 
with a faint scorn — so laint as scarcely to colour his words. 

" Tliiuk very badly of it, and you'll soon come down to the level 
you assign it," said Peter, boldly. 

" I'm afraid I'm not in the humour just now to give it my best 
suiFrages. You've seen, I doubt not, something of the treatuient I 
iuive met with from the Press for the last few weeks ; not very 
generous usage — not very just. Well! what will you say when I 
tell you that I have been refused an Inquiry into my conduct at 
Manchester; that the Government is of opinion that such an iuves- 
tii'ation might at the moment be prejudicial to the public peace, 
without any counterbalancing advantage on the score of a personal 
vindication; that they do not deem the time favourable for the calm 
and unbiased judgment of the country ; in one short word. Sir, 
they'd rather ruin a Major of Hussars than risk a Cabinet. I am to 
exchange into any corps, or any service, I can ; and they are to tide 
over these troubles on the assumption of having degraded me." 

" I hope you wrong them — I do hope you wrong them !" cried. 
Barriugton, passionately. 

" You shall see if I do," said he, taking several letters from his 



r,.\i;i;i.N(iTu\. 333 

pocket, aud suarcliiDg for one in parlic-ular. " Tcs, licre it is. Tl-.is 
is from Aldridge, the private secretary of the Comnumder-in-Chief 
It is very brief, and strictly secret : 

" ' Dear S., — The " Chief" does not like your scrape at all. Ton 
did rather too much, or too little — a fatal mistake dealing with a 
mob. You must consent — there's no lielp for it — to be badly used, 
and an injured man. If you don't like the half-pay list — wliicli 
would, in my mind, be the best step — there's the Seventeenth ordered 
to Baroda, and Maidstone rel'uses to go. This, or the Second AV^est 
India, are the only things open. Above all, don't show fight; don't 
rally a party round you, for there is not a man in England whose iu- 
iluence is sufBciently great to stand between you and the public. A 
cou])le of years' patience and a hot climate will set all right, and 
reinstate you everywhere. Come over here at once, and I'll do my 
best for you. 

" ' Yours ever, 

" ' St. Gteorge Aldridge.' 

" This is a friend's letter," said Stapylton, with a sneer ; " and he 
has no better counsel to give me than to plead guilty, and ask for a 
mitigated punishment." 

Barriugton was silenced ; he would not by any ex])ression of indig- 
nation add to the great anger of the other, and he said nothing. At 
last he said, " I wish from my heart — I wish I could be of any service 
to you." 

" You are the only man living who can," was the prompt answer. 

" How so — in what way ? Let me hear." 

" AVhen I addressed a certain letter to you some time back, I was 
in a position botb of fortune and prospect to take at least something 
irom the presumption of my offer. jN'ow, though my fortune remains, 
my future is more than clouded, and if I ask you to look favourably 
on my cause now, it is to your generosity I must appeal; I am, in 
fact, asking you to stand by a fallen man." 

This speech, uttered in a voice slightly shaken by agitation, went 
to Barrington's heart. There was not a sentiment in his nature so 
certain to respond to a call upon it as this one of sympathy with the 
beaten man ; the weaker side was always certain of his adherence. 
AVith a nice tact Stapylton said no more, but pushing open the 
window, walked out upon the smooth sward, on which a faint moon- 
light flickered. He had shot his bolt, and saw it as it quivered in his 
victim's flesh. Barrington was after him in an instant, aud drawing 



3-Ti i;aukinux()>'. 

an arm ^^itluu liis, lie said in a low voice, '" You may count upon 
me." 

Stap3'ltoii wrung his hand warmly, without speaking. After walk- 
ing for a few mouieuts, side by side, he said : " I must be frank with 
you, Mr. Barriugton. I have little time and no taste for circumlocu- 
tion ; I canuot conceal from myself that I am uo favourite with your 
sister. I was not as eager as I ought to have been to cultivate her 
good opinion ; I was a little piqued at what I thought mere in- 
justices on her part — small ones, to be sure, but they wounded me, 
and with a temper that always revolted against a wrong, I resented 
them, and I fear me, in doing so, I jeopardised her esteem. If she is 
as generous as her brother, she will not remember these to me in 
my day of defeat. Women, however, have their own ideas of mercy, 
as they have of everything, and she may not choose to regard ine as 
you have done." 

" I suspect you are wrong about this," said Barrington, break- 
ing in. 

" "Well, I wish I may be; at all events, I must put the feeling to 
the test at once, for I have formed my plan, and mean to begin it 
immediately." 

" And what is it ?" 

" Very few Avords will tell it. I intend to go on half-pay, or sell 
out if that be refused me ; set out for India by the next mail, and, 
with what energy remains to me, vindicate yoiu' son's claim. I have 
qualifications that will make me better than a better man. I am well 
versed in Hindostanee, and a fair Persian scholar ; I have a wide ac- 
quaintance with natives of every rank, and I know how and where to 
look for information. It is not my disposition to feel over-sanguine, 
but I would stake all I possess on my success, for I see exactly the 
flaws in the chain, and I know where to go to repair them. You have 
witnessed with what ardour I adopted the suit before ; but you can- 
not estimate the zeal with which I throw myself into it now — now 
that, like George Barrington himself, I am a man wronged, outraged, 
and insulted." Tor a few seconds he seemed overcome by passion 
and unable to continue ; then he went on : " If your granddaughter 
will accept me, it is my intention to settle on her all I possess. Our 
marriage can be private, and she shall be free to accompany me, or to 
remain here, as she likes." 

" But how can all this be done so hurriedly ? You talk of starting 
at once." 

" I must, if I would save your son's cause. The India Board are 
sending out their emissaries to Calcutta, and I must ajiticipatc theui 



BAllUINGTON. '.VSo 

— if 1 caiiuot do more, by gaining tliem over to lis, on llie voyage out. 
It is a case for energy and activity, and I want to employ both." 

" The time is very short for all this," said Barrington again. 

" So it is, Sir, and so are the few seconds which may rescue a man 
from drowning ! It is in the crisis of my fate that I ask you to stand 
by me." 

" But have you any reason to believe that my granddaughter Avill 
hear you favourably ? You are almost strangers to each other ?" 

" If she will not give me the legal right to make her my heir, I 
mean to usnrp the privilege. I have already been with a lawyer for 
that purpose. My dear Sir," added he, passionate!}^, " I want to 
break with the past for ever ! When the world sets up its howl 
against a man, the odds are too great ! To stand and defy it, he must 
succumb or retreat. Now, I mean to retire, but with the honours of 
war, mark you." 

" My sister will never consent to it," muttered Barrington. 

" Will you ? Have I the assurance o? i/our support ?" 

" I can scarcely venture to say ' Tes,' and yet I can't bear to say 
' 'No' to you !" 

" This is less than I looked for from you," said Stapylton, mourn- 
fully. 

" I know Dinah so well. I know how hopeless it would be to ask 
her concurrence to this plan." 

" She may not take the generous view of it ; hut there is a worldly 
one worth considering," said Stapylton, bitterly. 

" Then, Sir, if you count on tJiat, I would not give a copper half- 
penny for your chance of success !" cried Barrington, passionately. 

" Tou have quite misconceived me ; you have wronged me alto- 
gether," broke in Stapylton, in a tone of apology, for he saw the 
mistake he had made, and hastened to repair it. " My meaning was 
this " 

" So much the better. I'm glad I misunderstood you. But hero 
come the ladies. Let us go and meet them." 

" One word — only one word. AVill you befriend me ?" 

" I will do all that I can; that is, all that I ought," said Bari-ing- 
ton, as he led him away, and re-entered the cottage. 

" I will not meet them to-night," said Stapylton, hurriedly. " J 
am nervous and agitated. I will say, ' Good night' now." 

This was the second time within a few days that Stapylton had 
shown an unwillingness to confront Miss Barrington, and Peter 
thought over it long and anxiously. " AVhat can he mean by it ?" 
said he to himself. " Why should he be so frank and outspoken with 



JiH') BAUKINOTO>'. 

1110, and so reserved witli her? AYliat can Dinah know of li'.m ? 
AVliat can slic suspect, tliat is not known to me ? It is true tliey 
never did like each otlier — never 'lilt it oil'' together; but that is 
st-arcely Iiis fault. IMy excellent sister throws away little love on 
strangers, and opens every fresh acquaintance with a very fortifying 
prejudice against the newly-presented. However it happens," mut- 
tered he, with a sigh, " aJie is not often wrong, and /am very seldom 
right;" and, with this reflection, he turned once again to resume 
l.is walk in the crarden. 



ClIAPTEK XLII. 

A UOCTOK AND HI? PA'lIENT. 

Stapylton did not make his appearance at breakfast ; he sent 
down a message that he had passed a feverish night, and begged 
that Doctor Dill might be sent for. Though Barrington made two 
attempts to see his guest, the qnietness of the room on each occasion 
implied that he was asleep, and, fearing to disturb him, he went down 
stairs again on tiptoe. 

" This is what the persecution has done, Dinah," said he. " They 
have brought that stout-hearted fellow so low, that he may be the 
victim of a fever to-morrow." 

" Konscnse, Peter. Men of courage don't fall sick because the 
newspapers calumniate them. They have other things on their minds 
than siicl'i ])uny attacks." 

" So he may, likely enough, too. He is bent heart and soul on 
what I told you last night, and I'm not surprised if he never closed 
iiis eyes thinking of it." 

" Neither did I !" s:iid she, curtly, and left tlu; room. 

The Doctor was not long in arriving, and, after a w ord or two with 
i>arrington, hastened to the patient's rotMn. 

"Are we alone?" asked tStapylton, cutting short the bland speech 
V. it'll which Dill was making his approaches. "Draw that curtain 
ii bit, and take a good look at me. Are my eyes bloodshot ? A-re the 
pupils dilated ? 1 had a bad sun-stroke once; see if there be any 
sisins of conc:estiou about me." 



ilL^tj^j 







IJAUUINGTON. 337 

*• jN^o, I see none. A litUe fluslied ; your puiso, too, is accelerated, 
and the heart's action is hiboured " 

" Never miud tlie heart ; if the liead be well, it will talce care of it;. 
lieach me tliat pocket-book ; I want to acquit one debt to you before 
I incur another. No humbug between us ;" and he pressed some 
notes in the other's palm as he spoke. " Let us understand each 
other fully, and at once. I'm not very ill ; but I want _yow." 

" And I am at your orders." 

" Faithfully— loyally ?" 

" Faithfully — loyally!" repeated the other, after hiui. 

" Tou've read the papers lately — you've seen these attacks on 
me ?" 

" Yes." 

" A\^ell, what do they say and think here — I mean in this house — 
about them? How do they discuss them? Eemember, I want 
candour and frankness ; no humbug. I'll not stand humbug !" 

" The women are against you." 

" Both of them ?" 

" Both." 

" How comes that ? — on what grounds ?" 

" The papers accused you of cruelty ; they affirmed tliat there 
was no cause for the measures of severity you adopted; and they 
argued " 

" Don't bore me with all that balderdash. I asked you how was 
n that these women assumed I was in the wrong ?" 

"And I was about to tell you, if you had not interrupted me." 

" That is, they believed what they read in the newspapers ?" 

" Yes." 

" And, of course, swallowed that fine story about the Hindoo 
fellow that I first cut down, and afterwards bribed to make his 
escape from the hospital ?" 

" I suspect they half believed it." 

" Or rather, believed half of it, the cutting down part ! Can you 
tell me physiologically — for I think it comes into that category — 
why it is that women, not otherwise ill natured, in nine cases out o'l" 
ten take the worst alternative as the credible one ? But never miud 
that. They condemn me. Isn't it so ?" 

" Y'es ; and while old Barrington insists " 

" Who cares what he insists ! Such advocacy as his only provokes 
attack, and invites persecution. I'd rather have uo such allies !" 

" I believe you are right." 

"' I wan^; fellows like yourself, Doctor — siv, cautious, subtle ff.ilcv.'s 

z 



niiS BAinilNOTOX. 

— accustomed to stealing strong medicines into the system in small 
doses ; putting the patient, as you call it in your slang, ' under the 
influence' of this, that, and t'other — eh r" 

Dill smiled blandly at the compliment to his art, and Stapylton 
went on : 

" Not that 1 have time just now for this sort of chronic treatment. 
I need a heroic remedy, Doctor. I'm iu love." 

" Indeed!" said Dill, with an accent nicely bahmced between in- 
terest and incredulity. 

" Tes, and I want to marry !" 

" Miss Barrington ?" 

" The granddaughter. There is no need, I hope, to make the dis- 
tinction, for I don't wish to be thought insane. Now you have the 
case. What's your prescription ?" 

*' Propose for her !" 

" So I have, but they hesitate. The old man is not unfavourable ; 
be is, perhaps, more ; he is, in a measure, friendly ; but what avails 
such advocacy ? I want another guess sort of aid — a clever man ; oi-, 
what is better still, a clever woman, to befriend me." 

He waited some seconds for a repl}'', but Dill did not speak, so he 
went on: "A clever woman, to take a Avoman's view of the case, 
balancing this against that, never ignoring an obstacle, but inquiriu''^ 
what there may be to compensate for it. Do you know such a one. 
Doctor?" 

" Perhaps I may ; but I have my doubts about securing her ser- 
vices." 

" Even with a retainer?" 

" Even with a retainer. Ton see, Major" — here Dill dropped his 
voice to a most confidential whisper — " my daughter Polly — for I 
know we both have her in mind — Polly is a strange sort of girl, and 
very hard to understand ; for while, if the case were her own, she'd 
no more think of romance than she would of giving ten guineas for a 
dress, if she was advising another whose position and prospects were 
liigher than hers, it's the romantic part of it she'd lay all the stress on." 

" From which I gather, that my suit will not stand this test!" said 
Stapyltou, with a peculiar smile. " Eb, isn't that your meaning ?" 

" Ton are certainly some years older than. the lady," said Dill, 
blandly. 

" Not old enough to be, as the world would surely say, ' her father,' 
but fully old enough to give licence for sarcasm." 

" Then, as she will be a great fortune " 

" Not a sixpence — she'll not have sixpence. Doctor. Tiiat bubble 



BAUUINOXON. 330 

iuis burst at last, ami can ucver be blown again. Tlie whole claim 
has beeu rejected, refused, thrown out, and there's an end of it. It 
amuses that old man to sit on the wreck and fancy he can repair the 
shattered timbers and make them seaworthy ; and, for the time he is 
likely to last, it is only kindness to leave liim to his delusion ; but he 
is ruined — ruined beyond rceal, and, as I have told you, the girl will 
have nothing." 

" Do they know tliis — has Barringtou heard it ?" 

" Tes ; I broke it to him last night, but I don't think he fully 
realised the tidings ; he has certain reserves — certain little conceits of 
his own — which are to supply him with a sort of hope ; but let us talk 
of something more practical. How can we secure Miss Dill's ser- 
vices ?" 

" A few days ago, tlie easiest way would have been to offer to be- 
friend her brother, but this morning brings us news that this is not 
needed — he is coming home." 

" How so ?" 

" It is a great event in its way ; at least, it may be for Tom. It 
seems there was a collision at sea, somewhere near the Cape, between 
the sliip Si. Helen's, that carried out Greneral Hunter and his staff, and. 
the lieffulus, with tlie FortA'-ninth on board. It was at night, and a 
terrible sea on at the time. In tlie shock, the Si. Helen's took fire, 
and as the two ships were inextricably locked together, the danger 
was common to each. While the boats were being lowered and 
manned — for it was soon seen the vessels could not be saved — a cry 
arose that the fire was gaining on the fore hold, and would soon reach 
the magazine. The woful news spread at once, and many jumped 
overboard in their terror. Just then, Tom heard that there was a 
means of drowning the powder by opening a certain sluice, and, 
without waiting for more, he clambered across into the sinking 
vessel, made his way through smoke and fire, gained the spot, and 
succeeded, just as the very ladder itself had caught the flames. 
How he got back he cannot tell, for the v^-ssel foundered in a few 
minutes, and he was so burned — face, cheeic, and one shoulder — tliafc 
he was unconscious of everything ; and, even when the account came, 
was still in bed, and not able to see." 

" He was a wild sort of lad, was he not — a scamp, in short ?" 

" Xo, not exactly that ; idle — careless — kept bad company at 
times." 

" These are the fellows who do this kind of thing once in their 
lives — mark you, never twice. They never have more than one shot 
in their locker, but it will suffice in this case." 

z 2 



.'MO B.VKRINGTON'. 

Though the worthy Doctor was vciy far from euthusiastie about 
his son's gallantry, there was a degree of coolness in the Major's 
estimate of it that almost shocked him, and he sat staring steadily at 
the stern bronzed face and the hard lineaments of tlie num, and won- 
dering of what strange stuff" such natures were fashioned. 

" It's quite clear, then, that for IMaster Tom Ave can do nothing 
lialf so good as chance has done for hiui." said Stapylton, after a short 
interval. 

" Chance and himself, too," added the Doctor. 

Stapylton made no answer, but covering his eyes with his hand, lay 
deep in thought. 

" If you only had the Attorney- General, Mr. AVithering, on your 
side," said Dill. " There is no man has the same influence over this 
family." 

" It's not what you call influence I want, my good Sir. It is a far 
more subtle and more delicate agent. I require the sort of aid, in 
fact, which your daughter could supply, if she would. An appoint- 
ment awaits me in India, but I must occupy it at once. I have no 
time for a long courtship. I'm just as hurried as that boy of yours 
was wlien he swamped the powder-magazine. It's a skirmish where 
1 can't wait for the heavy artillery, but must do my best with the 
light field-guns — do you understand me?" 

Dill nodded, and Stapylton resumed: " The thing can be done just 
by the very road that you have pronounced impossible — that is, by 
the romantic side of it — making it a case of violent love at first sight, 
the passion of a man past the heyday of youtli, but yet young 
enough to feel a most ardent aftection. I am, besides," said he, 
laughing with a strange blending of levity and sarcasm, " a soi't of 
]irummagem hero ; have been wounded, led assaults, and that kind of 
tiling, to a degree that puffery can take the benefit of. And, last of 
all, Doctor, I am rich enough to satisfy greater ambitions than ought 
to live under such a roof as this. Do you see the part your daughter 
can take in this drama?" 

" Perhaps I do." 

" And could you induce her to accept it ?" 

" I'm not very certain — I'd be slow to pledge myself to it." 

" Certainly," said Stapylton, mockingly; " the passing glimpses we 
bachelors obtain of the working of that vaunted institution. The 
Family, fail to impress us with all its imputed excellence; you are, 
ic seems to me, just as powerless within your own doors, as I am 
regarding wiiat goes on in a neighbours house. I take it, however, 



I 



nAitni^tiToK. 341 

iliat it oan't 1)p helped. Children, like colonies, are only governable 
wlien helpless." 

" I suspect you are wrong, Sir; at least, I fancy I have as much ot 
the sort of influence you speak of as others ; but still, I think, here, 
in this particular case, you would yourself be your best ambassador, 
if \'ou were strong enough to come down with me in tlie boat to- 
day." 

'■ Of course I am !" cried Stapylton, starting up to a sitting pos- 
ture ; " and what then ?" 

" Tou would be better in my house than tliis," said Dill, mys- 
teriously. 

" Speak out, and speak clearly, Doctor ; I have very little tlie 
matter with me, and am in no want of change of air. What I need 
is the assistance of one dexterous enough to advocate my plans 
with persons and in places to wbich I have no access. Your 
daughter is just such a one — will she do it ?" 

" We can ask her," 

" Well, how will you explain my absence to these people bere ? 
What will you say for my not appearing at breakfast, and yet being 
able to take an airing with you ?" 

" I will put it on hygenic grounds," said Dill, smiling acutely. 
" My profession has a number of sanctuaries the profane vulgar can 
never enter. I'll just step down now and ask Barriugton to lend me 
his boat, and I'll throw out a dark hint that I'd like to manage a con- 
sultation on your case without alarming you, for which purpose I'd 
ask Doctor Tobin to be at my house, when we arrive there, by mere 
accident, so that a conference would follow as a matter of course." 

"Very wily — very subtle all this, Doctor, Do you know, I'm half 
frightened at the thought of trusting myself to such a master of in- 
trigue and mystification." 

" Have no fears ; I reserve all my craft for my clients." And v>ith 
this he left the room, but only for a few minutes, for he met Bar- 
riugton on the stairs, and speedily obtained permission to take his 
boat to Inistioge, having first pledged himself to come back with 
Stapylton to dinner. 

" We shall see, we shall see," muttered Stapylton to himself. 
"Tour daughter must decide where I am to dine to-day." 

By the way — that is, as they glided along the bright river — Dill 
tried to prepare Stapylton for the task before him, by sundry hints 
as to Polly's temper and disposition, with warnings against this, and 
cautions about that. " Above all," said he, " don't try to overreach 
her." 



3il2 HAIUUNGTOX. 

'■ Perfect frankness — candour il^-elf — id uiy deviec. AVou't tbafc 
do r" 

" You must first see Avill she believe it," said the Doctor, slily ; 
and for the remainder of tlie wnv there was a yileucc between them. 



CHAPTER XLIII. 



CROSS PCRFOSICS. 



" Wiiehe's Miss Polly r" said Dill, hastily, as he passed his 
threshold. 

" She's making the confusion of roses in the kitchen, Sir," said 
the maid, whose chemistry had been a neglected study. 

" Tell her that I have come back, and that there is a gentleman 
along with me," said he, imperiously, as he led the wa}'- into his 
study. " I have brought you into this den of mine, Major, because 
I would just say one word more by way of caution before you see 
Polly. Tou may imagine, from the small range of her intercourse with 
the world, and her village life, that her aeuteness will not go very 
far ; don't be too sure of that — don't reckon too much on her want of 
experience." 

" I suppose I have encountered as sharp wits as hers before this 
time o' day," replied he, half peevishly ; and then, with an air of better 
temper, added, '' I have no secrets to hide, no mystery to cloak. If 
1 want her alliance, she shall herself dictate the terms that shall re- 
quite it." 

The Doctor shook his head dubiously, but was silent. 

" I half suspect, my good Doctor," said Stapylton, laughing, " that 
vour charming daughter is a little, a very little, of a domestic despot; 
you are all afraid of her ; never ^ cry sure of what she will say, or do, 
or think, on any given circumstances, and nervously alive to the risk 
of her displeasure." 

" There is something in what you say," remarked Dill, with a sigh ; 
"but it was always my mistake to bring up my children with too 
much liberty of action. Trom the time they were so high" — and he 
held his hand out about a yard above the floor — "they were their own 
masters." Just as the words had fallen from him, a little chubby, shock- 
headed fellow, about live years old, burst into the room, wliich he be- 



TlAItUING lOX. 313 

lieved unoccupied, and then, suddenly seeing liis papa, set up a howl 
of terror that made the house ring. 

" AVhat is it, Jimmy — what is it, my poor man ?" said Pollv, rusli- 
iiig with tucked-up sleeves to the spot ; and, catching him up in her 
arms, she kissed him affectionately. 

"Will you take him away? — will you take him out of that?" 
hissed out Dill between his teeth. "Don't you see Major Stapylton 
here?" 

" Oh, Major Stapyltou will excuse a toilette that was never intended 
for his presence." 

" I will certainly say there could not be a more becoming one, nor 
a more charming tableau to display it in !" 

" Tliere, Jimmy," said she, laughing ; " you must have some bread- 
and-jam for getting me such a nice compliment." And she bore away 
the still sobbing urchin, who, burying his head in her bosom, could 
never summon courage to meet his father's eye. 

" What a spacious garden you appear to have here !" said Stapylton, 
who saw all the importance of a diversion to the conversation. 

" It is a very much neglected one," said Dill, pathetically. " My 
poor dear boy Tom used to take care of it when he was here ; he had 
a perfect passion for flowers." 

AVhether tliat Tom was associated in the Major's mind with some 
other very different tastes or not, Stapylton smiled slightly, and after 
a moment said, " If you permit me, I'll take a stroll through your 
j;arden, and think over what we have been talking of." 

" Make yourself at home in every respect," said Dill. " I have a 
few professional calls to make in the village, but we'll meet at 
luncheon." 

" He's in the garden, Polly," said Dill, as lie passed his daughter 
on the stairs ; " he came over here this morning to have a talk with 
you." 

" Indeed, Sir !" 

" Yes ; he has got it into his head that you can be of service to 
him." 

" It is not impossible. Sir ; I think I might." 

" I'm glad to hear it, Polly; I'm delighted to see you take a good 
sensible view of things. I need not tell you he's a knowing one." 

" No, Sir. But, as I have heard you card-players say, ' he shows 
his hand.' " 

" So he does, Polly ; but I have known fellows do that just to mis- 
lead the adversary." 

" Sorry adversaries that could be taken in so easily." And with a 



snucy toss ot" lier licad slie passed on, scarcely noticing tlie warniii;^ 
gesture of her father's finger as she went. 

When she had found her work-baslvet and supplied lierself with 
the means of occupying her fingers for an hour or so, she repaired to 
the garden and took her scat under a large elm, around wliose massive 
trunk a mossy bench ran, divided by rustic-work into a series of 
separate places. 

" AVhat a churlish idea it was to erect these barricades, Miss 
Dill," said Stapylton, as he seated himself at her side ; " how unpic- 
turesque, and how prudish." 

" It was a simple notion of my brother Tom's," said she, smiling, 
" who thought people would not be less agreeable by being reminded 
that they had a place of their own, and ought not to invade that of 
their neighbour." 

" What an unsocial thought !" 

" Poor Tom ! A strange reproach to make against yo?/," said she, 
laughinfj out. 

" By the way, hasn't he turned out a hero — saved a ship and all she 
carried from the flames — and all at the hazard of his own life ?" 

" He has done a very gallant thing ; and, what's more, I'll venture 
to say there is not a man who saw it thinks so little of it as 
himself." 

" I suppose that every brave man has more or less of that feeling." 

" I'm glad to learn this fact from such good authority," said she, 
with a slight bend of the head. 

" A prettily turned compliment, Miss Dill. Are you habitually 
given to flattery ?" 

" No ; I rather think not. I believe the world is pleased to call 
me more candid than courteous." 

" Will you let me take you at the world's estimate — that is, will you 
do me the inestimable favour to bestow a little of this same candour 
upon mef' 

" Willingly. Wliat is to be the subject of it ?" 

" The subject is a very humble one — myself T' 

" How can I possibly adjudicate on such a theme ?" 

" Better than you think for, perhaps !" And, for a moment, he ap- 
peared awkward and ill at ease. " Miss Dill," said he, after a pause, 
" Fortune has been using me roughly of late, and, like all men who 
deem themselves hardly treated, I fly at once to any quarter where 
I fancy I have found a more kindly disposition towards me. Am 
I indulging a self-delusion in believing that such sentiments are 
yours ?" 



B.VUEIXUTOX. 3J5 

Polly Dill, with her own keen tact, had guessed what was the 
real object of Stapylton's visit. She had even read in her lather's 
manner how he himself was ii shareholder in the scheme, and she 
had made up her mind for a great frankness on eacli side ; but now, 
seeing the diplomatic mysteriousness with which the Major opened 
I lis attack, tiiat love of mischievous drollery whicli entered into hei- 
nature suggested a very different line. She determined, in fact, to 
seem to accept the IMajor's speech as the prelimiuary to an offer of 
liis hand. She therefore merely turned away her head slightly, and 
ilia low voice said, " Continue !" 

" I have not deceived myself, then," said he, with more warmth of 
manner. " I have secured one kind heart in my interest ?" 

" You must own," said she, with a half-coqnettish look of pique, 
" that you searcel}' deserve it." 

" How — in what way ?" asked he, in astonishment. 

" What a short memory you are blessed with ! Must I, then, re- 
mind you of a certain evening at Cobham ? Must I recal what I 
tliought at the time very particular, as they certainly were verv 
pleasant, attentions on your part ? Must I, also, bring to mind a 
certain promised visit from you, the day and hour all named by 
yourself — a visit which never came off? And after all this, Major, are 
you not really a bold man to come down and take up your negotia- 
tion where you dropped it ? Is there not in this a strong convic- 
tion of the greatness of Major Stapylton, and the littleness of the 
Doctor's daughter?" 

Stapylton was struck dumb. AYheu a general sees that what lie 
meant as a feint has been converted into a real attack, the situation 
is often imminent ; but what comparison in difficulty is there between 
that mistake and that of him who assails what he never desired 
to conquer ? How he inwardly cursed the stupidity with which he 
had opened his negotiation. 

" I perceive," said she, triumphing over his confusion, " that your 
calmer judgment does not reassure you. You feel that there is a 
certain levity in this conduct not quite excusable ! Own it frankl^^, 
and at once!" 

" I will own, if you like, that I was never in a situation of greater 
embarrassment!" 

" Shall I tell you why ?" 

" You couldn't ; it would be totally impossible." 

" I will try, however, if you permit me. You do ! Then here goes. 
You no more intended anything to come of your little flirtation at 
Cobham than you now do of a more serious blunder. You never came 



'.]['} ijai;k[ng:'o-n'. 

here this morning to niake your court to mc. You are mucli pained 
at the awkwardness of a situation so naturally wounding to me, and, 
lor the life of you, you cannot imagine what escape tliere is out of 
such difllculty." 

'•You are wonderfully clever. Miss Dill," said he; and there was 
an honest admiration in his look that gave the words a full signi- 
ficance. 

" No," said she, " but I am wonderfully good natured. L forgive 
YOU what is the hardest thing in the world to forgive I" 

" Oh ! if you would but be my friend," cried he, warmly. 

" What a want of tact there was in that speech, Major Htapylton," 
said she, with a laugh ; " but, perhaps, you wanted to reverse the 
line of our dear little poet, who tells of some one 'that came but for 
friendship, and took away Love !' " 

" How cruel you are in all this mockery of me !" 

" Does not tlie charge of cruelty come rather ill from ^/ou ? — yotu 
who can aflbrd to sport with the aflections of poor village maidens. 
l>om the time of that ' Major bold of Halifax' the song tells of, I 
never heard your equal." 

" Could you prevail upon yourself to be serious for a few nnnutes ?" 
said he, gravely. 

" I think not — at least not just now ; but why should I make the 
attempt P' 

" Because I would wish your aid in a serious contingency — a 
matter in which I am deeply interested, and which involves, probably, 
my future happiness." 

" Ah, Major ! is it possible that you ai'c going to trifle with my feel- 
ings once more ?" 

" My dear Miss Dill, mvist I plead once more ibr a little mere}' ?" 

" Ko, don't do any such thing ; it would seem luigeuerous to refuse, 
and yet I could not accord it." 

" Eairly beaten," said he. Avith a sigh : " there is no help for it. 
Y'ou are the victor !" 

" How did you leave our friends at ' The Home ?' " said she, with 
an easy indifference in her tone. 

" All well, perfectly well ; that is to say, T believe so, for I only 
saw my host himself." 

" What a pleasant house ; how well they understand receiving their 
friends." 

" It is so peaceful and so quiet!" said he, with an eflbrt to seem at 
case. 

" And the jrarden is charming !" 



UAKUINiiXOK. ?-t7 

" Aii'l all this is perfectly intolerable," said lie, risin<^, and 
p|)eaking in a voice thick with suppressed anger. " I never eame 
here to play a part in a vaudeville! Your father led me to believe, 
Miss Dill, that you might not be indisposed to lend mo your favour- 
ing aid ill a suit which I am interested in. He told me I should at 
least find you frank and outspoken ; that if you felt inclined to assist 
me, you'd never enhance the service by a seeming doubt or hesi- 
tation " 

" And if I should not feel so inclined, what did ho did then give 
you to expect?" 

" That you'd say so !" 

" So I do then, clearly and distinctl}'' tell you, if my counsels offer 
a bar to your wishes, they are all enlisted against you." 

" This is the acme of candour. You can only equal it by saying 
how I could have incurred your disfavour?" 

" There is nothing of disfavour in the matter. I think you charm- 
ing. You are a hero — very clever, very fascinating, very accomplished ; 
but I believe it would be a great mistake for Pifine to marry you. 
Your tempers have that sort of resemblance that leave no reliefs in 
their mutual play. You are each of you hot and hasty, and a little 
imperious ; and if she were not very much in love, and consequently 
disposed to think a great deal of you and very little of herself, these 
traits tliat I speak of Avould all TTork ill. But if every one of them 
were otherwise, there would still be one obstacle worse than all !" 

" And that is r" 

" Can you not guess what I mean, Major Stapyltou r You do not, 
surely, want confidences from me that are more than candour !" 

" Do I understand you aright ?" said he, growing red and pale by 
turns, as passion worked within him ; " do I apprehend you cor- 
rectly? These people here are credulous enough to be influenced by 
the shadowy slanders of the newspapers, and they listen to the half- 
muttered accusations of a hireling press ?" 

" They do say very awkward things in the daily press, certainly," 
said she, dryly ; " and your friends marvel at the silence witli which 
you treat them." 

" Then I have divined your meaning," said he. "It is by these 
cowardly assailants I am supposed to be vanquished. I suspect, how- 
ever, that Colonel Barrington himself was, once on a time, indulged 
with tlie same sort of flattery. They said that he had usurped a 
sovereignty, fiilsified documents, purloined jewels of immense value. 
I don't know what they did not charge him with. And what do they 
say of me? That I exhibited great severity — cruelty, if you will — 



0'3'!5 BAI{RINGT0:N. 

towards a mob in a state of rebellion. Tliat I reprimanded a very 
sii'ly subaltern for a misplaced act of humanity. That 1 have been 
cashiered, too, tliey assert, in face of the Gazette, which announces 
my appointment to an unattached Majority. In a word, the enormity 
of the falsehood has never stayed their hand, and they write of me 
wliatever their unthinking malevolence can suggest to them. You 
I.ave, perhaps, seen some of these paragraphs ?" 

" Like every one else, I Iiave read them occasionally ; not very at- 
tentively, indeed. But, in truth, I'm not a reader of newspapers. 
Here, for instance, is this morning's as it came from Dublin, still un- 
opened ;" and she handed it as she spoke. 

" Let us see if I be still honoured with their notice," said he, un- 
folding the paper, and running his eyes hastily over it. " Debate on 
the Sugar Bill — Prison Reforms — China — Reinforcements for Ca- 
nada — Mail Service to the Colonies — Bankruptcy Court. Oh, here 
we have it — here it is!" and he crushed the paper while he folded 
down one part of it. " Shall I read it for you ? The heading is 
very tempting : ' Late Military Scandal. — A very curious report is 
now going through our AVest-end Clubs, and especially such as are 
the resort of military officers. It is to the purport that a certain 
Field-officer of Cavalry — whose conduct has been the subject of 
severe strictures from the Press — will speedily be called to answer 
for a much graver offence than the transgression of regimental dis- 
cipline. The story which has reached us is a very strange one, and 
we should call it incredible, if we were not informed on authority 
that one of our most distinguished Indian Generals has declared 
himself fully satisfied of its truth in every particular.' Can you 
fancy anything worse than this. Miss Dill ? An unknown somebody 
is alleged to be convinced of an unknown something that attaches to 
me ; for, of course, I am designated as the ' Pield-officer of Cavalry,' 
and the public is graciously pleased to hold me in abhorrence till I 
have found out my calumniator and refuted him !" 

" It seems very hard. Who do vou suspect is the Indian General 
alluded to ?" 

" Tell me, first of all — does he exist ?" 
" And this, too, you will not reply to, nor notice ?" 
" Not, certainly, through such a channel as it reaches me. If the 
slanderer will stand forth and avow himself, I may know how to deal 
with him. But what has led us into this digression ? I am sure it 
is as little to your taste as to mine. I have failed in my mission, 
and if I were able to justify every act of my life, what would it avail 



BARKIXOTON. U l") 

nie? You have pronounced against me; at least, you will not lake 
my brief." 

" "What if I were retaiued by the other side?" said slie, smiling. 

" I never suspected that there was another side," said he, witli an 
air of extreme indifference. " Who is my formidable rival ?" 

" I might have told you if I saw you were really anxious on the 
subject." 

" It would be but hypocrisy in me to pretend it. If, for example, 
]Major M'Cormick " 

'• Oh, that is too bad!" cried Polly, interrupting. "This would 
mean an impertinence to Miss Barrington." 

" How pleasant we must have been! Almost five o'clock, and I 
scarcely thought it could be three !" said he, with an affected 
languor. 

" ' Time's foot is not heard when he treads upon flowers,' " said 
she, smiling. 

" Where shall I find your father. Miss Dill ? I want to tell him 
what a charming creature his daughter is, and how wretched I feel 
at not being able to win her favour." 

" Pray don't ; or he might fall into my own mistake, and imagine 
that you wanted a lease of it for life." 

" Still cruel, still inexorable !" said he, with a mockery of affliction 
in his tone. " Will you say all the proper things — the regrets, 
and such-like — I feel at not meeting him again ; and if he has asked 
me to dinner — which I really forget — will you make the fitting 
apology?" 

" And what is it, in the present case ?" 

" I'm not exactly sure whether I am engaged to dine elsewhere, 
cr too ill to dine at all." 

" Why not say it is the despair at being rejected renders you 
unequal to the efiort? I mean, of course, by myself. Major Stapyl- 
ton." 

" I have no objection; say so, if you like," said he, with an insult- 
ing indifference. " Good day. Miss Dill. This is the way to the 
road, I believe?" and, with a low bow, very deferential, but very dis- 
tai\t, he turned away to leave the garden. He had not, however, 
gone many paces, when he stopped, and seemed to ponder. He looked 
up at the sky, singularly clear and cloudless as it was, without a 
breath of wind in the air; he gazed around him on every side, as if 
ill search of an object he wanted; and then, taking out his purse, he 
drew forth a shilling and examined it. " Yes," muttered he, " Chance 



i^C)0 UAUllIXGTON. 

has been my only counsellor for many a year, and the only one that 
never takes a bribe! And yet, is it not taking to the ral't before the 
ship has foundered ? True ; but shall I be sure of tlie raft if I wait for 
the shipwreck ? She is intensely crafty. 8he has that sort of liead 
that loves a hard knot to unravel ! Here goes ! Let Destinv talce 
all the consequences !" and, as he flung up the piece of money in the 
air, lie cried, " Head !" It was some minutes ere he could discover 
where it had fallen, amongst the close leaves of a border of straw- 
berries. He bent down to look, and exclaimed, " Head ! she has 
won!" Just as he arose from his stooping attitude, he perceived 
that Polly was engaged in the adjoining walk, making a bouquet of 
roses. He sprang across the space, and stood beside her. 

" I thought yon had been a mile ofl" by this time, at least," said 
she, calmly. 

" So I meant, and so I intended ; but, just as I parted from you, a 
thought struck me — one of those thoughts which come from no 
process of reasoning or reflection, but seem impelled bj a force out 
of our own natures — that I would come back and tell you something 
that was passing in my mind. Can you guess it ?" 

" No ; except it be that you are sorry for having trifled so unfeel- 
ingly with my hopes, and have come back to make the best repara- 
tion in your power, asking me to forgive and accept you." 

" You have guessed aright ; it was for that I returned." 

" What a clever guess I made ! Confess I am very ready-witted !" 

" You are ; and it is to engage those ready wits in my behalf that 
I am now before you." 

" At my feet, Sir, is the appropriate expression. I wonder how a 
gentleman so suited to be the hero of a story could forget the lan- 
guage of the novel." 

" I want you to be serious," said he, almost sternly. 

" And why should that provoke seriousness from me which only 
costs 1/ou levity r" 

" Levity ! — where is the levity ?" 

" Is it not this instant that you flung a shilling in the air, and 
cried out, as you looked on it, ' She has won ?' Is it not that you 
asked Cliance to decide for you what most men are led to by their 
affections, or at least their interests ; and if so, is levity not the name 
for this r" 

" True in part, but not in whole ; for I felt it was J who had won 
when 'head' came uppermost." 

" And yet you have lost." 



1 



15AUU1NGT0X L)5l 

" How so ! You refuse nic '?" 

" I lor"'ive yourastonisluneut. It is really strange, but I do refuse 
you." 

" But why? Arc you piqued with me for :vuythincj that oecurrod 
this morning ? Have I offended you by anytliiug that dropped from 
me in that conversation ? Tell nie frankly, that I may, if in my power, 
rectify it." 

" No; I rather felt flattered at the notion of being consulted. ] 
thought it a great tribute to my clear-headedness and my tact." 

" Then tell me what it was." 

" You reallv wish it ?" 

" I do." 

" Insist upon it r" 

*' I insist upon it." 

"Well, it was this. Seeing that you were entrusting your future 
fortune to Chance, 1 thought that I would do tlie same ; and so I 
tossed up whether, opportunity serving, I should accept you or a cer- 
tain other, and tlie other won!" 

" May I ask for the name of my fortunate rival ?" 

" I don't think it is very fair, perhaps not altogether delicate of 
j-ou ; and the more since he has not proposed, nor possibly ever may. 
But no matter, you shall hear his name. It was Mnjor M'Cor- 
mick." 

" M'Cormick ! You mean this for insult to me. INIiss Dill ?" 

" Well, it certainly is open to tliat objection," said she, with a 
very slight closure of her eyes, and a look of steady, resolute de- 
fiance. 

"And in this way," continued he, "to throw ridicule over the oiler 
I have made you ?" 

" Scarcely that; the proposition was in itself too ridiculous to re- 
quire any such aid from me." 

For a moment Stapylton lost his self-possession, and he turned on 
ber with a look of savage malignity. 

" An insult, and an intentional insult !" said he ; " a bold thing to 
avow." 

" I don't think so. Major Stapylton, We have been playing a very 
rough game with each othei', and it is not very wonderful if each of us 
should have to complain of hard treatment." 

" Could not so very clever a person as Miss Dill perceive that ] 
was only jesting ?" said he, with a cutting insolence in his tone. 

"I assure you that I did not," said she, calmly; "had I known, 



')o'2 BAKIUNOTON. 

or even suspcctcnl it was a jest, I never should liavebeen angry. That 
the distinguished Major Stapylton sliould mock and quiz — or \Yhat- 
ever be the name for it — the Doctor's daughter, however question- 
able the good taste, was, after all, oid}"- a passing slight. The thought 
of asking her to marry him was diilerent — that was an outrage 1" 
" You shall pay for this one day, perhaps," said he, biting liis 

" 'No, ]Major Stapylton," said she, laughing; "this is not a debt 
of honour ; you can afford to ignore it." 

" I tell you again, you shall pay for it." 

" Till then, Sir !" said she, with a curtsey ; and without giving 
him time for another word, she turned and re-entered the house. 

Scarcely had Stapylton gained the road than he was joined by 
31'Cormick. " Paitli, you didn't get the best of that brush, anyhow," 
said he, with a grin. 

" AVhat do you mean, Sir ?" replied Stapylton, savagely. 

" I mean that I heard every word that passed between you, and 
I wouldn't have been standing in your shoes for a fifty-pound 
note." 

" How is your rheumatism this morning ?" asked Stapylton, 
blandly. 

" Pretty much as it always is," croaked out the other. 

" Be thankful to it, then, for if you were not a cripple, I'd throw 
you into that river as sure as I stand here to say it." 

Major M'Cormick did not wait for a less merciful moment, but 
hobbled away from the spot with all the speed he could muster. 




'^aM 



za/^'-if ii^j a// a//c^^^y^^k^y^■ 



I 



I 



liAUUlNGTOX. ;5,'iH 



CHAPTER XLiy. 



"When Slapyltou stepped out of bis boat and bnided at " The 
Home," tbe first person be saw was certainly the last in bis wishes. 
It was Miss Dinah, wlio stood at tbe jetty as though awaiting him. 
Scarcely deigning to notice, beyond a faint smile of acquiescence, the 
somewhat bungling explanation he gave of his absence, she asked if 
he bad not met her brother ? 

" No," said he. " I left tbe village a couple of hours ago ; rather 
loitering as I came along, to enjoy tbe river scenery." 

" He took tbe road, and in this way missed you," said slie, dryly. 

" How unfortunate ! for me, I moan, of course. I own to you, Miss 
Barrington, wide as the dift'erence between our ages, I never yet met 
any one so thoroughly companionable to me as your brother. To 
meet a man so consummately acquainted with tbe world, and yet not 
soured by his knowledge; to see the ripe wisdom of age blended with 
the generous warmth of youth ; to find one whose experiences only 
make him more patient, more forgiving, more trustful " 

" Too trustful. Major Stapylton ; far too trustful." And her bold 
grey eyes were turned upon him as she spoke with a significance that 
could not be mistaken. 

" It is a noble feeling. Madam," said ho, haughtily. 

" It is a great misfortune to its possessor, Sir." 

" Can we deem that misfortune. Miss Barrington, which enlarges 
the charity of our natures, and teaches us to be slow to think ill ?" 

Not paying the slightest attention to his question, she said, 

" My brother went in search of you, Sir, to place in your bands 
some very urgent letters from tbe Horse Gruards, and which a special 
messenger bronght here this morning." 

" Truly kind of him. They relate, I have no doubt, to my Indian 
appointment. They told me I should luive news by to-day or to- 
morrow." 

" He received a letter also for himself. Sir, -which lie desired to 
show you." 

" About bis lawsuit, of course ? It is alike a j)leasurc and a duiv 
to nio to servo him in that affair." 

'1 \ 



" It more nearly concerns yourself, Sir," said she, in the same coM, 
stern tone ; " thougli it has certainly its bearing on the case you 
speak of." 

" More nearly concerns myself I" said he, repeating her words 
slowly. " I am about the worst guesser of a riddle in the world, 
Miss Barringtou. AVould you kindly relieve my curiosity ? I;s 
this letter a continuation of those cowardly attacks, which, in the 
want of a worthier theme, the Press have amused themselves by 
making npon me ? Is it possible that some enemy has had tlu; 
malice to attack me through my friends ?" 

" The writer of the letter in question is a sufficient guarantee for 
its honour — Mr. Withering." 

" Mr. Withering!" repeated he, with a start, and then, as suddenly 
assuming an easy smile, added : " I am perfectly tranquil to find 
myself in such hands as Mr. AVithering's. And what, pray, does Jic 
say of me ?" 

"Will you excuse me, Major Stapylton, if I do not enter upon a 
subject on which I am not merely very imperfectly informed, but on 
which so humble a judgment as mine would be valueless? My 
brother showed me the letter very hurriedly ; I had but time to see to 
what it referred, and to be aware that it was his duty to let you see 
it at once — if possible, indeed, before you were agaiu under his 
roof" 

" AVhat a grave significance your words have, jMiss Barrington/' 
s-aid he, with a cold smile. " They actually set me to tliink over all 
my faults aud failings, and wonder for which of them I am now 
arraigned." 

" AVe do not profess to judge you. Sir." 

By this time they had sauntered up to the little garden in front of 
the cottage, within the paling of whicli Josephine was busily engaged 
in training a japonica. She arose as she heard the voices, and, in her 
accustomed tone, wished Stapylton good evening. "She, at least, 
has heard nothing of all this," muttered he to himself, as he saluted 
lier. He then opened the little wicket, and Miss Barrington passed 
in, acknowledging his attention by a short nod, as she walked hastily 
forward and entered the cottage. Instead of following her, Stapylton 
closed the wicket again, remaining on the outside, and leaning iii.s 
arm on the upper rail. 

"Why do you perform sentry? Are you not free to enter the 
fnrtrcsa?" said Fiiine. 

'• 1 half suspect not," said he, in a low tone, and to hear which, slit? 
was obliged to draw nigher to v.licrc lie stood. 



BAKRINGTOIs'. 3j5 

*' "What do you mean ? I don't understand you!" 

'' Xo great wonder, for I don't understand myself. Tour aunt 
lias, however, in her own most mysterious way, given me to be- 
lieve that somebody has written sometliing about me to some- 
body else, and vuitil I clear up what in all probability I shall never 
hear, that I had better keep to what the Scotch call the 'back o' the 
gate.' " 

'• This is quite unintelligible." 

" I hope it is, for it is almost iniendurable. I am sorely'' afraid," 
added he, after a minute, " tliat I am not so patient as I ought to be 
under MissBarrington's strictures. I am so much more in the habit 
of command than of obedience, that I may forget myself now and 
then. To you, however, I am ready to submit all my past life and 
conduct. By you I am willing to be judged. If these cruel calum- 
nies which are going the round of the papers on me have lowered me 
ni your estimation, my case is a lost one ; but if, as I love to think, 
youi woman's heart resents an injustice — if, taking counsel of your 
courage and your generosity, you feel it is not the time to withdraw 
esteem when the dark hour of adversity looms over a man — then, I 
care no more for these slanders than for the veriest trifles which cross 
■one's every-day life. In one word — your verdict is life or death to 
me." 

" In that case," said she, with an efl^ort to dispel the seriousness 
of his manner, " I must have time to consider my sentence." 

" But that is exactly what you cannot have, Josephine," said 
he ; and there was a certain earnestness in his voice and look, which 
made her hear him call her by her name without any sense of being 
offended. " First relieve the suffering — there will be ample leisure 
to question the sufferer afterwards. The Good Samaritan wasted few 
words, and asked for no time. The noblest services are those of 
which the cost is never calculated. Tour own heart can tell you: 
can you befriend me, and will you ?" 

" I do not know what it is you ask of me," said she, with a frank 
boldness which actually disconcerted him. " Tell me distinctly, what 
is it?" 

" I will tell you," said he, taking her hand, but so gently, so re 
spectfully withal, that she did not at first withdraw it. " I will tell you. 
It is that you will share that fate on which fortune is now frown- 
ing — that you will add your own high-couraged heart to that of one 
who never knew a fear till now — that you will accept my lot in this 
the day of my reverse, and enable me to turn upon my pursuers 
and scatter them. To-morrow or next day will be too late. It is 

2 a2 



350 liAliKINGTOK. 

now, at this hour, that frieiuls hohl back, that oue more than fricud 
is Beeded. Can you be that, Josephine r" 

" No !" said she, firmly. " If I read your meaning aright, I 
cannot." 

" You cannot love me, Josephine," said he, in a voice of intense 
emotion ; and thougli he -waited some time for her to speak, slie was 
silent. " It is true, then," said he, passionately, " the slanderers have 
done their work 1" 

" I know nothing of these calumnies. "When my grandfather told 
me that they accused you falsely, and condemned you unfairly, I 
believed him. I am as ready as ever to say so. I do not under- 
stand your cause ; but I believe you to be a true and gallant gentle- 
man !" 

" But yet, not one to love!" whispered he, faintly 

Again she was silent, and for some time he did not speak. 

"A true and gallant gentleman!" said he, slowly repeating her 
own words ; " and if so, is it an unsafe keeping to which to entrust 
your happiness ? It is no graceful task to have oneself for a theme : 
but I cannot help it. I have no witnesses to call to character; a few 
brief lines in an army list, and some scars — old reminders of French 
sabres — are poor certificates, and yet I have no others." 

There was something which touched her in the sadness of his 
tone as he said these words, and if she knew how, she would have 
spoken to him in kindliness. He mistook the struggle for a change of 
[)urpose, and with greater eagerness continued: "After all, I am 
scarcely more alone in the world than you are ! The dear friends 
who now surround you cannot be long spared, and what isolation 
will be your fate then ! Think of this, and think, too, how in assur- 
ing your own future, you rescue mine." 

Very diiferently from his former speech did the present aftect 
her; and her cheeks glowed and her eyes flashed as she said, "I have 
never entrusted my fate to your keeping, Sir ; and you may spare 
yourself all anxiety about it." 

" You mistake me. You wrong me, Josephine " 

"You wrong yourself, when you call me by my christian name; 
and you arm me with distrust of one who would presume upon an 
interest he has not created." 

" You refuse me, then ?" said he, slowly and calmly. 

" Once, and for ever!" 

" It may be that you are mistaken, Miss Barrington. It may be 
that this other affection, which you prefer to mine, is but the sickly 
sentiment of a foolish boy, whose life up to this has not given one 



BAllIUNGTOX. '.ioi 

single guarantee, nor sliown one solitary trait, of those uliieli make 
' true and gallant gentlemen.' But you have made your choice." 

" I have," said slie, with a low but firm voice. 

" You acknowledge, then, that I was right," cried he, suddenly ; 
" there is a prior attachment ? Your heart is not your own to give ?" 

" And by what right do you presume to question me ? Who arc 
you, that dares to do this ?" 

'■ Who am I ?" cried lie, and for once his voice rose to the discor- 
dant ring of passion. 

"Yes, tiiat was my question," repeated she, firmly. 

" So, then, you have had your lesson, young lady," said he ; and 
the words came from him with a hissing sound, that indicated intense 
anger. " Who am I ? You want my birth, my parentage, my 
bringing up ! Had you no friend who could have asked this in your 
stead ? Or were all those around you so bereft of courage that 
they deputed to a young girl what should have been the ofBce of 
a man ?" 

Though the savage earnestness of his manner startled, it did not 
afi'right her ; and it was with a cold quietness she said : " If you had 
known my father, Major Stapylton, I suspect you would not have 
accused his daughter of cowardice !" 

" AVas he so very terrible ?" said he, with a smile that was half a 
sneer. 

" He would have been, to a man like you." 

" To a man like me — a man like me! Do you know, young lady, that 
either your words are very idle words, or very oiFensive ones ?" 

" And yet, I have no wisli to recal them. Sir." 

" It would be better you could find some one to sustain them. 
Unfortunately, however, you cannot ask that gallant gentleman we 
were just talking of; for it is only the other day, and after passing 
over to Calais to meet me, his friends pretend that there is some 
obstacle to our meeting. I owe my tailor or my bootmaker some- 
thing; or I have not paid my subscription to a club; or I have left 
an unsettled bill at Baden. I really forget the precise pretext ; but 
it was one which, to them, seemed quite sufficient to balk me of a 
redress, and at the same time to shelter their friend." 

" I will not believe one word of it. Sir !" 

" "Well, we have at least arrived at a perfect frankness in our in- 
tercourse. May I ask you, young lady, which of your relatives has 
suggested your present course ? Is it to your aunt or to your grand- 
father I must go for an explanation ?" 

" I suspect it is to me, Major Stapylton," said Barrington, as he 



"i/S i;.vi;i;i.\ciTu>'. 

came from behind Josephine. It is to me you must address jour- 
?elf. rifine, my dear, your aunt is looking ior you; go and tell iier, 
too, that I am quite ready for tea, and you will find mo here when it 
is read\'. 3Iajor Stapylton and I will take a stroll along the river- 
side." Now this last was less an invitation than a sort of significant 
hint to Stapylton, that his host had no intention to ask him to cross 
his threshold, at least for the present; and, indeed, as Barringtou 
passed out and closed the wicket after him, he seemed as though 
closing the entrance for ever. 

"With a manner far more assured than liis wont, Barringtou 
said: "I have been in pursuit of you, Major Stapylton, since four 
o'clock. I missed you by having taken the road instead of the river; 
:iud am much grieved that the communication I have to make you 
should not take place anywhere rather than near my own roof, or 
within my own gates." 

" I am to suppose from your words, Sir, that what you are about 
to say can scarcely be said to a friend. And if so, cannot you liit 
upon a more convenient mode of making your communication?" 

" 1 think not. I believe that I shall be dealing more fairly with 
you by saying what I have to say in person." 

" Go on," said Stapylton, calmly, as the other paused. 

" You are aware," continued Barrington, " that the chief obstacle 
to a settlement of the claims I have long preferred against the India 
Company has been a certain document which they possess, declaring 
tliat a large portion of tlie territory held by the Eajah of Luckerabad 
was not amenable to the laws that regulate succession, being what 
is called ' Lurkar-teea' — conquered country — over which, under no 
circumstances, coiild the Eajah exercise prospective rights. To this 
deed, for their better protection, the Company obtained the signature 
and seal of the Eajah himself, by means which, of course, we could 
never discover ; but they held it, and always declared that no portion 
of my sou's claim could extend to these lands. jSow, as they denied 
that he could succeed to what are called the 'Turban lands,' meaning 
the right of sovereignt\' — being a British subject on the one hand, 
and rejected his claim to these conquered countries on the other — 
;hey excluded him altogether." 

" INly dear Sir," said Stapylton, mildly, "I'm shocked to interrupt 
A on, but I am iorced to ask, what is the intimate bearing of all this 
upon vie, or on your position towards me ?" 

" Have a little patience. Sir, and suffer me to proceed. If it should 
turn out that this document — I mean that which bears tlie signature 
and seal of the Eajah — should be a forgery ; if, I say, it could be shown 



liAIUtlNGTOX. :;.j!) 

tliiif what the India "Board have lonG^ relied on to sustain tlieir case 
::iul corroborate their own view could be proved false, a great point 
woidd be gained towards the establishment of our claim." 

" Doubtless," said Stapylton, with the half-peevish indifference of 
one listening against his will. 

" Well, there is a good prospect of this," said Barrington, boldly. 
" Nay, more, it is a certainty." 

" Mr. Barrington," said Stapylton, drawing himself haughtily up, 
" a few hours ago this history would have had a very great interest 
for me. INIy hopes pointed to a very close relationship with your 
family ; the last hour has sufficed to dispel those hopes. Your grand- 
daughter has rejected me so decidedly, that I cannot presume to sun- 
pose a cliange in her opinion possible. Let me not, then, obtain any 
share in your confidence to Avhich I have no right whatever." 

" AYiiat I am about to say will have more interest for you. Sir," 
continued Barrington. " I am about to mention a name that you 
will recognise — the Moonshee, Ali Gohur." 

Stapylton started, and dropped the cigar he was smoking. To 
take out another and light it, however, sufficed to employ' him, as he 
nnir mured between his teeth, " Go on." 

" This man says " continued Barrington. 

'■ Said, perhaps, if you like," broke in Stapylton, "for he died some 
months ago. 

" No ; he is alive at this hour. He was on board the Indiamau that 
was run down by the transport. He was saved, and carried on board 
the Herjidiis by the intrepidity of young Dill. He is now recovering 
rapidly from the injuries he received, and at the date of the letter 
which I hold here, was able to be in daily communication with 
Colonel Hunter, who is the Avriter of this." 

" I wish the gallant Colonel honester company. Are you aware, 
3rr. Barrington, that you are speaking of one of the greatest rascals 
of a country not famed for its integrity ?" 

" He lays no claim to such for the past ; but he would seem 
desirous to make some reparation for a long course of iniquity." 

" Charmed for his sake, and that of his well-wishers, if he have any. 
But, once again, Sir, and at all the risk of appearing very impatient, 
what concern has all this for me ?" 

" A great deal. Sir. The Moonshee declares that he has been for 
years back in close correspondence with a man we long since believed 
dead, and that this man was known to have communicated constantly 
with the law advisers of the India Board in a manner adverse to us, 
he being no other than the sou of the notorious Sam Edwardc?, 



3G0 BAEBIKGTOir. 

V liom he always addressed under cover to Captain Horace Stapyltou, 
Prince's Hussars." 

'■ This is — strange enough, when one thinks of the quarter it conies 
from — ])erfectly true. I came to know Edwardes when on my voyage 
liome, invalided. He took immense trouble about me, nursed and 
tended me, and, in return, asked as a favour to have some letters 
lie was expectiug addressed to my care. I neither knew who be 
was, nor cared. He got his letters, and, I suppose, read them ; but 
of their contents, I, it is needless to say, know nothing. I am speak- 
ing of a dozen years ago, or at least eight or ten, lor since that time 
1 have never heard of either Edwardes or his friend." 

" He tells a dillerent story. He asserts that to his letters, for- 
warded to the same address up to the period of last March, he regu- 
larly received replies ; but at last, finding that the writer was disposed 
to get rid of him, he obtained means to circulate a report of his 
death, and sailed for Europe to prefer his claims, whatever they be, 
ill person." 

" iVud if every word of this were true, Mr. Barrington, which I 
don't suspect it is, bow, in the name of common sense, does it concern 
me ? I don't suppose I ever took my own letters at a post-ofiice 
twice in my life. My servant, wlio has lived with me fourteen years, 
may, for aught I know, have been bribed to abstract these letters on 
their arrival ; they would be easily recognised by the very superscrip- 
tion. This is one way the thing might have been done. There may 
have been fifty more, for aught I know or care." 

" But you don't deny tluit you knew Edwardes, and ])ad a close 
intimacy with him? — a circumstance which you never revealed to 
AVitheriug or myself." 

" It is not at all improbable I may have known half a dozen of that 
name. It is by no means an tniconimon one, not to say that I liavp 
a singularly infelicitous memory for people's names. But i'or the last 
time. Sir, I must protest against this conversation going any further. 
Tou have taken upon you, I would hope without intending it, the 
tone of a French Juge d'Instruction in the interrogation of a pri- 
soner. Tou have questioned and cross-questioned me, asking how I 
can account for this, or explain that. Now, I am ready to concede a 
great deal to your position as my host, and to your years, but really 
I must entreat of you not to push my deference for these beyond the 
limits of the respect I owe myself. Tou very properly warned me at 
the opening of this conversation that it ought not to have the sanc- 
tion of your roof-tree. I have only to beg, that if it is to go any fur- 



UARlllNOTUN. 3U1 

thcr, that it be coiulucted in sncli a shape as is usual between gentle- 
men wlio have an cxi)lauati()n to ask, or a satisfaction to demand." 

There was consummate craft in giving the discussion this turn. 
Stapylton well kuew the nature of the man he was addressing, and 
that after the passing allusion to his character as a host, he only 
needed to hint at the possibility of a meeting to recal him to a degree 
of respect only short of deference for liis opponent. 

" I defer to you at once. Major Stapylton," said the old man, with 
a bland courtesy, as he uncovered and bowed. " There was a time 
when I should scarcely have required the admonition you have given 
me." 

" I am glad to perceive that you understand me so readily," said 
Stapylton, who could scarcely repress the joy he felt at the success 
of his diversion ; " and that nothing may mar our future understanding, 
this is my address in London, where I shall await your orders for a 
week." 

Though the stroke was shrewdly intended, and meant to throw 
upon Barrington all the onus of the provocation, the Major little sus- 
pected that this was the one solitary subject of which his opponent 
was a master. On the " duello" Barrington was an authority beyond 
appeal, and no subtlety, however well contrived, could embarrass or 
involve him. 

" I have no satisfaction to claim at your hands, Major Stapylton," 
said he, calmly. " My friend, Mr. Withering, when he sent me 
these letters, knew you were my guest, and he said, ' Read them to 
Major Stapylton. Let him know what is said of him, and who says 
it.''" 

" And, perhaps, you ought to add. Sir, who gives it the sanction of 
his belief," broke in Stapylton, angrily. " Tou never took the trouble 
lo recite tliese charges till they obtained your credence." 

" Tou have said nothing to disprove them," said the old man, 
quickly. 

" That is enough, quite enough, Sir ; we understand each other 
perfectly. Tou allege certain things against me as injuries done 
you, and you wait for me to resent the imputation. I'll not balk 
you, be assured of it. Tiie address I haye given you in London will 
enable you to communicate with me when you arrive there ; for I pre- 
sume this matter had better be settled in Prance or Holland." 

" I think so," said Barrington, with the air of a man thoroughly at 
his ease. 

" I need not say, Mr. Barrington, the regret it gives me that it was 



3U2 liAJfRINGTOX. 

not one of my detractors liimsuif, ami not their dupe, that shouhl 
occupy this place." 

" The dupe, Sir, is very mucli at your service." 
'• Till we meet again," said Stapylton, raising liis hat as ho turned 
away. In his haste, and the confusion of the moment, he took the 
path that led towards the cottage; nor did he discover his mistake 
till he heard Barriugton's voice calling out to Darby : 

'' Get the boat ready to take Major Stapylton to'Inistioge." 
'' Toil forget none of the precepts of hospitality," said Stapylton,. 
Avheeling hastily around, and directing his steps towards the river. 

Barrington looked after hitn as he uent, and probably in his long 
and varied life, crossed with many a care and many troubles, he had 
never felt the pain of such severe self-reproach as in that moment. 
To see his guest, the man who had sat at his board and eaten his salt, 
going out into the dreary night without one hospitable effort to detain 
him, without a pledge to his health, without a warm shake of his 
hand, or one hearty wish for his return. 

" Dear, dear!" muttered he to himself, " what is the world come 
to ! I thought I had no more experiences to learn of suffering; but 
here is a new one. AVho would have thought to see the day that 
Peter Barrington would treat his guest this fashion?" 

" Are you coming in to tea, grandpapa r" cried Josephine, from the 
garden. 

" Hero I am, my dear!" 

" And your guest, Peter, wliat has become of him ?" said Dinah. 
'•He had some very Urgent business at Kilkenny; something 
that could not admit of delay, I opine." 

" But you have not let hin\ go without his letters, surely. Here 
are all these formidable-looking despatches, on His ^Nrajesly's Service, 
on the chimney-piece." 

" How forgetful of me !" cried he, as, snatching them up, he has- 
tened down to the river-side. Tlie boat, however, had just gone; and 
although he shouted and called at the top of his voice, no answer 
came, and he turned back at last, vexed and disappointed. 

" I shall have to start for Dublin to-morrow, Dinah," said ho, as 
he walked thouglitfully up and down the room. " I must have Wi- 
tliering's advice on these letters. There are very pressing matters to 
bo thought of here, and lean take Major Stapylton's despatches with 
nie. I am certain to hear of him somewhere." 

Miss Barrington turned her eyes full upon him, and watched him 
narrowlv. She was a keen detector of motives, and she scanned her 



liAUKlNOTOX. ;)U3 

brollier's face w Itli no common keenness, and yet she could see no- 
thing beyond the preoccupation she had often seen. There was no 
impatience, no anxiety. A shade more tliouglitful, perliaps, and even 
that passed off", as he sat down to liis tea, and asked Tiliue vvliat com- 
missions she liad for tlie capital. 

" You will leave by the evening mail, I suppose r" said Miss Bar- 
rington. 

" No, Dinah, night travelling wearies me. I will take the coach as 
it passes the gate to-morrow at five; this will bring me in time to 
catch Withering at his late dinner, and a pleasanter way to finish a, 
day's travel no man need ask ibr." 

]S^othing could be more easily spoken than these words, and jMiss 
Dinah felt reassured by them, and left the room to give some orders 
about his journey. 

" Fifine, darling," said Barrington, after a pause, " do you like your 
life here ?" 

" Of course I do, grandpapa. How could I wisli for one more 
happy ?" 

" But it is somewhat dull for one so young — somewhat solitary for 
a fair, bright creature, who might reasonably enough care for pleasure 
and the world." 

"To me it is a round of gaiety, grandpapa; so that I almost felt 
inclined yesterday to wish for some quiet days with aunt and your- 
self — some of those dreamy days like what we had in Germany." 

" I fear me much, darling, that I contribute but little to tlie i)lea- 
sure. My head is so full of one care or another, I am but sorry 
company, Fifine." 

" ]f you only knew how dull we are without you! How heavily 
the day drags on even with the occupations you take no share in; 
how we miss your steps on the stairs and your voice in the garden, 
and that merry laugh that sets ourselves a laughing just b\' its own 
ring." 

" And you would miss me, then?" said he, as he pushed the hair 
from her temples, and stared steadfastly at her face — '• you would 
miss me ?" 

" It would only be half life without you," cried she, passionately. 

" So much the worse — so much the worse !" muttered he; and he 
turned Jiway, and drew his hand across his eyes. " This life of 
ours, Fifine, is a huge hattle-field, and though the comrades fall fast 
around him, the brave soldier will fight on to the last." 

"You don't want a dress-coat, brother Peter, to dine with "Wi- 



oGi< IS-VUKINOTON. 

therinjc:, so I have just put up wliat will serve yoii for three days, or 
four, at furtlu'st," said Dinali, entering. " What will be tlie extent 
of your stay ?" 

" Let me have a black coat, Dinah ; there's no saying what great 
man may not ask for my company ; and it might be a week before 1 
get back again." 

"There's no necessity it should be anything of the kind, Peter; 
and with your habits an hotel life is scarcely an economy. Come, 
Eifine, get to bed, child. Tou'll have to be np at daybreak. Tour 
grandpapa won't think his coffee drinkable, if it is not made by your 
hands?' 

And with this remark, beautifully balanced between a reproof and 
a flattery, she proceeded to blow out the candles, which was her accus- 
tomed mode of sending her company to their rooms. 



CHAPTEK XLV. 



THE OLD LEAVEN. 



WiTHEHiNa arrived at his own door just as Barrington drove up 
to it. " I knew my letter would bring you np to town, Barrington," 
said he ; " and I was so sure of it, that I ordered a saddle of mutton 
for your dinner, and refused an invitation to the Chancellor's." 

" And quite right, too. I am far hotter company, Tom. Are wo 
to be all alone ?" 

" All alone." 

" That was exactly what I wanted. Now, as I need a long evening 
with you, the sooner they serve the soup the better ; and be sure you 
give your orders that nobody be admitted." 

If Mr. Withering's venerable butler, an official long versed in the 
mysteries of his office, were to have been questioned on the subject, 
it is not improbable he would have declared that he never assisted at 
a pleasanter tcle-a-tete than that day's dinner. Thsy enjoyed their 
good dinner and their good wine like men who bring to the enjoy- 
ment a ripe experience of such pleasures, and they talked with the 
rare zest of good talkers and old friends. 

" We are in favour with iS'^icholas," said Withering, as the butler 



liAKia^UTON. 805 

witlidrew, and left tlicin alone, " or he would never liave given us tliat 
bottle of port. Do you mark, Barrington, it's the green seal that 
John Bushe begged so hard for one night, and all unsuccessfully." 

" It is rare stulf !" said Barrington, looking at it between him and 
the ligiit. 

"And it was that story of yours of the Kerry election that wen 
it. Tiie old fellow had to rush out of the room to have his laugh 
out." 

" Do you know, Tom," said Barrington, as he sipped liis wine, " ] 
believe, in another generation, nobody will laugh at all. Since you 
and I were boys, the world has taken a very serious turn. Not that 
it is much wiser, or better, or more moral, or more cultivated, but it 
is graver. Tlie old jollity would be now set down simply for vul- 
garity, and with many people a joke is only short of an insult." 

" IShall I tell you why, Peter ? We got our reputation for wit, 
just as we made our name for manufacture, and there sprung up a 
mass of impostors in consequence — fellows who made poor jokes and 
rotten calicoes, that so disgusted the world, that people have gone to 
France for their fun, and to Germany for their furniture. That is, 
to my taking, the reason of all this social reaction." 

" Perhaps you are right, Tom. Old Joe Millers are not unlike 
cloth made out of devil's dust. One can't expect much wear out of 
either." 

" We must secm*e another bottle from that bin before Nicholas 
changes his mind," said Withering, rising to ring the bell. 

" No, Tom, not for me. I want all the calm and all the judgment 
I can muster, and don't ask me to take more wine. I have much to 
say to you." 

" Of course you have. I knew well that packet of letters would bring 
you up to town ; but you have had scarcely time to read them." 

" Very hurriedly, I confess. They reached me yesterday afternoon ; 
and when I had run my eyes hastily over them, I said, ' Stapylton 
must see this at once.' The man was my guest — he was imder my 
roof — there could not be a question about how to deal with him. 
He was out, however, when the packet reached my hands, and while 
the pony was being harnessed, I took another look over that letter 
from Colonel Hunter. It shocked me, Tom, I confess ; because 
there flashed upon me quite suddenly the recollection of the prompti- 
tude with which the India Board at home here were provided witli 
an answer to each demand we made. It was not merely that when 
we had advanced a step they met us ; but we could scarcely meditate 
a move that they were not in activity to repel it." 



3GG EAianNGTOK. 

" I saw that, too, and was struck by it," said AVithering. 

" True enougli, Tom. I remember a remark of yours one day. 
' These people,' said you, ' have our range so accurately, one would 
suspect they had stepped the ground.' " The lawyer smiled at the 
compliment to his aeuteness, and the other went on : " As I read 
further, I thought Stapylton liad been betrayed — his correspondent 
in India had shown his letters. ' Our enemies,' said I, 'have seen 
our despatches, and are playing with our cards on the table.' Ko 
thought of distrust — not a suspicion against his loyalty had ever 
crossed me till I met him. I came unexpectedly upon him, however, 
before the door, and there was a ring and a resonance in his voice as 
I came up that startled me ! Passion forgets to shut tlie door 
sometimes, and one can see in an angry mind what you never sus- 
pected in the calm one. I took him up at once, without suffering 
him to recover his composure, and read him a part of Hunter's letter. 
He was ready enough with his reply ; he knew the Moonshee by re- 
putation as a man of the worst character, but had suffered him to 
address certain letters under cover to him, as a convenience to the 
person they were meant for, and who was no other than the son of 
the notorious Sam Edwardes. ' Whom you have known all this 
while,' said I, ' without ever acknowledging to us ?' 

" ' "Whom I did know some years back,' replied he, ' but never 
thought of connecting with the name of Colonel Barrington's enemy.' 
All this was possible enough, Tom ; besides, his manner was frank 
and oj^en in the extreme. It was only at last, as I dwelt, what he 
deemed too pertinaciously, on this point, that he suddenly lost control 
of himself, and said, ' I will have no mere of this' — or, ' This must go 
no further' — or some words to that effect." 

" Ha! the probe had touched the .^ore spot, eh?" cried "Withering. 
■" Go on !" 

" ' And if you desire further explanations from me, you must ask 
for them at the price men pay for inflicting unmerited insult.' " 

"Cleverly turned — cleverly done," said AVithering; "but you 
were not to be deceived and drawn off by that feint, eh?" 

" Teint or not, it succeeded, Tom. He made me feel that I had 
injured liim, and as he would not accept of my excuses — as, in fact, 
he did not give me time to make tlicm " 

" lie got you into a quarrel, isn't that the truth ?" asked "Wither- 
ing, hotly. 

" Come, come, Tom, be reasonable ; he had perfect right on his 
side. There was what he felt as a very grave imputation upon Lim ; 
that is, I had made a charge, and his cxplanatiou had not satisfied 



]j.viuuN(ir'j.v ,;^/ 

ne — or, at all events, I had not said I was satisfied — and we each of 
us, I take it, were somcwliat warmer than we need have been." 

" And you are going to meet him — going to fight a duel ?" 

" AVell, if I am, it will not be the first time," 

"And can you tell I'or what ? "Will you be able to make any 
man of conniuni intelligence understand lor what you are going 
out ?" 

" I hope so. I have tlie man in my eye. 'No, no, don't make a 
wry face, Tom. It's another old friend I was thinking of to help me 
throngh this affair, and I sincerely trust he will uot be so hard to 
instruct as you imagine." 

" How old are you, Barrington P' 

'• Dinah says eighty-one ; but I suspect she cheats me. I think I 
am eighty-three." 

'• And is it at eighty-three that men fight duels ?" 

" Not if they can help it, Tom, certainly. I have never been out 
since I shot Tom Connelly in the knee, which was a matter of forty 
years ago, and I had good hopes it was to be my last exploit of this 
kind. But what is to be done if a man tells you that your age is 
your protection ; that if it had not been for your white hairs and your 
shaking ankles, that he'd have resented your conduct or your words 
to him ? Faith, I think it puts a fellow on his mettle to show that 
liis heart is all right, though his hand may tremble." 

" I'll not take any sliare in such a foil}'. I tell you, Barrington, 
tiie world for -.vliom you are doing this will be the very first to scout 
its absurdity. Just remember for a moment we are not living in the 
old days before the Union, and we have not the right, if we had the 
power, to throw oiu" age back into the barbarism it has escaped 
from." 

" Barbarism ! The days of poor Yelverton, and Ponsonby, and 
Harry Grattan, and Parsons, and Ned Lysaght, barbarism ! Ah ! 
ray dear Tom, I wish we had a few of such barbarians here now, and 
I'd ask for another bottle or two of that port." 

" I'll uot give it a milder word ; and what's more, I'll not suffer 
you to tarnish a time-honoured name by a folly which even a boy 
would be blamed for. My dear old friend, just grant me a little 
patience." 

" This is cool, certainly," said Barrington, laughing. " You have 
said all manner of outrageous things to me for half an hour unop- 
posed, and now you cry, have patience." 

" Give me your honour now tliat this shall not go further." 

" I cannot, Tom — I assure you, I cannot." 



'";S UARRIXOXON. 

'• AVliat do you mean by, you cnnnot r" criod "Withering, augrily. 

" I mean just what I said. If you had accepted a man's brief, 
Tom "Witliering, tliere is a professio-nal etiquette whicii would pre- 
vent your giving it up and abandoning him ; and so there are situa- 
tions between men of the world whicli claim exactly as rigid an 
observance. I told Stapyltou I would be at his orders, and I mean 
to keep my word." 

" Not, if you had no right to pledge it ; not, if I can prove to you 
that this quarrel was a mere got-up altercation to turn you from an 
inquiry which this man dare not face." 

" This is too subtle for me, AVithering, far too subtle." 

" jS'o such thing, Barrington ; but I will make it plainer. How if 
the man you are going to meet had no right to the name he bears ?" 

" AVhat do I care for his name ?" 

" Don't you care for the falsehood by whicli he has assumed one 
that is not his own ?" 

" I may be sorry that be is not more clean-handed ; but I tell you 
again, Tom, they never indulged such punctilios in our young days, 
and I'm too old to go to school again !" 

" I declare, Barrington, you provoke me," said the lawyer, rising, 
and pacing the room with hasty strides. " After years and years of 
weary toil, almost disheartened by defeat and failure, we at last see 
the outline of land ; a few more days — or it may be hours — of perse- 
verance may accomplish our taslc. Since I arose this morning I have 
learned more of our case, seen my w^ay more clearly through matters 
which have long puzzled me, than the cost of years has taught me. 1 
liave passed four hours with one who would give his life to serve you, 
but whose name I was not at liberty to divulge, save in the last ne- 
cessity, and the reasons for which reserve I heartily concur in ; and 
now, by a rash and foolish altercation, you would jeopardy everything. 
Do you wonder if I lose temper ?" 

" Tou have got me into such a state of bewilderment, Tom, that i 
don't know what I am asked to agree to. But who is your friend — 
isn't it a w'oman ?" 

" It is not a woman." 

" I'd have bet five pounds it was ! When as sharp a fellow as 
you takes the wrong line of country, it's generally a woman is leading 
the way over the fences." 

" This time your clever theory is at fault." 

""Well, who is it? Out with him, Toui. I have not so many 
staunch friends in the world that I can afford to ignore them." 

" I will tell you his name on one condition." 

" I asrce. What is the condition ?" 



BAKBINGTON. 3U9 

" Tt is this : that wlien you hear it you will dismiaa from your 
mind — though it be only for a brief space — all the prejudices that 
years may have heaped against him, and suffer me to show you that 
you, with all your belief in your own fairness, are not just ; and with 
a firm conviction in your own generosity, might be more generous. 
There's my condition !" 

" Well, it must be owned I am going to pay pretty smartly for my 
information," said Barrington, laughing. "And if you are about to 
preach to me, it will not be a ' charity' sermon : but, as I said before, 
I agree to everything." 

Withering stopped his walk and resumed it again. It was evident 
he had not satistied himself how he should proceed, and he looked 
agitated and undecided. " Barrington," said he, at last, " you have 
had about as many reverses in life as most men, and must have met 
with fully your share of ingratitude and its treatment. Do you feel, 
now, in looking back, that there are certain fellows you cannot for- 
give ?" 

" One or two, perhaps, push me harderthau the rest ; but if I have 
no gout flying about me, I don't think I bear them any malice." 

" Well, you have no gouty symptoms now, I take it ?" 

" Never felt better for the last twenty years." 

" That is as it should be ; for I want to talk to you of a man who, 
in all our friendship, you have never mentioned to me, but whose 
name I know will open an old wound — Ormsby Conyers." 

Barrington laid down the glass he was lifting to his lips, and 
covered his face with both his hands, nor for some moments did he 
speak a word. " Withering," said he, and his A'oice trembled as he 
spoke, " even your friendship has scarcely the right to go this far. 
The injury the man you speak of did me meets rae every morning as 
I open my eyes, and my first prayer each day is that I may forgive 
him, for every now and then as my lone lot in life comes strongly before 
me, I have need to pray for this ; but I have succeeded at last — I have 
forgiven him from my heart ; but, dear friend, let us not talk of what 
tears open wounds that bleed afresh at a touch. I beseech you, let 
all that be a bygone." 

" That is more than I can do, Barrington ; for it is not to me you 
must acknowledge you have forgiven this man — you must tell it to 
himself." 

" That is not needed, Tom. Thousands of long miles separate us, and 
will in all likelihood separate us to the last. What does he want with 
my forgiveness, which is less a question between him and me, than be- 
tween me and mv own heart ?" 



370 1!ARUI>QT0X. 

" Aud yet it is what be most desires on earth ; be told me so within 
an hour !" 

" T^old you so — and -witlnii an bour?" 

"Yes, Barrington, be is here. Not in the bouse," added he, hastily, 
for the suddeuuess of the announcement bad startled the old man, 
and agitated bim greatly. " Be calm, my dear friend," said AVitber- 
iug, laying a band on the other's shoulder. " He who is now come 
to claim your forgiveness, lias never injured you to the extent you 
believe. He asks it as the last tribute to one be loved only less than 
you loved bim. He has told me everytbing ; never sparing bimself, 
nor seelving by any subtlety to excuse a particle of bis conduct. Let 
me tell you that story as I beard it. It will be some solace to you 
to know that jour noble-bearted son inspired a friendship wbich, 
after the long lapse of years, exacts sucb an atonement as one act 
of disloyalty to it could demand. This was Ormsby Conyers's one 
and only treason to the love that bound tbem. Listen to it !" 

Barrington tried to speak, but could not, so be nodded an assent, 
and AVilhering continued. His story was that which the reader has al- 
ready beard from the lips of Conyers bimself, aud the old lawyer 
told it well. If be did not attempt to extenuate the offence aud 
wrong of Conyers, be showed the power and strength of an affection 
which could make one of the baugbtiest of men come forward to 
accuse bimself, and at every cost of humiliation vindicate the noble 
nature of bis friend. 

" And why not bave avowed all this before ? — why not have spared 
bimself years of self-accusing, and me years of aggravated miseiy ?" 
cried Barrington. 

" lie did make the attempt. He came to England about eigbteen 
years ago, aud his first care was to write to you. He asked to be al- 
lowed to see you, and sent you at the same time an admission that 
be had injured you, and was come to seek your forgiveness." 

" That's true, Tom ; all strictly true. I remember all about it. 
His letter was sucb a one as au enemy might have used to crusb bim. 
My own temper at the time was not to be trusted too far ; sorrow was 
making me cruel, and might make me vindictive ; so I sent it back to 
bim, aud hinted it was safer iu his bands than mine." 

" And be has never forgotten your generosity. He said, ' It was 
wbat well became the father of George Barrington.' " 

" If bo is here in tbis city, now, let me see bim. Eeraember, 
Withering, when a man comes to my age bis time is sbort. Caunot 
wc go to bim at once ?" 

" !Not feeling certain of your coming up to town to-day, I had ai- 



BARRINQTON. 371 

ranged with Conyers to start for ' The Home' to-morrow ; we were to 
await the post hour, and, if no letter came from you, to leave at ten 
o'clock. I was to take him up at Elvidge's Hotel. AVhat say you if 
1 drive him down to Keynolds's ? You stop there, I know." 

" AVith all my heart, Tom. I am fully as impatient as lie can he 
to sign and seal our reconciliation. Indeed, I feel myself already 
less sinned against than sinning : and an act of forgiveness is only an 
exchange of prisoners between us. If you knew how young I feel 
again at all this, Withering," said he, grasping his friend's hand. 
" Wliat a happiness to know that poor George's memory is so revered, 
that one who had failed towards him in fidelity should come to 
expiate the wrong thus openly ! My fine, noble-hearted boy deserved 
this tribute ! And he told you how they loved each other ; in what 
a brotherhood they lived ; and what a glorious fellow" Grcorge was ? 
Did he tell you of his gentleness ? womanly softness it was, Tom. A 
careless observer might have said there was no stuff in him to make a 
soldier, and yet where was there his equal ? Tou heard what he did 
at Nagapoor and Meerutan, where he held a mountain-pass with 
three squadrons against a whole army corps, and never owned to 
being wounded till he fell fainting from his horse on the retreat. Oh, 
let me not speak of these things, or my heart will burst. I must leave 
you, old friend ; this agitation will unfit me for much that is before 
me ; let me go, I beseech you, and when you see me to-morrow, 
you'll find I am all myself again." 

It was in silence they grasped each other's hand, and parted. 



CHAPTEE XLVI. 



A HAPPY MEETING. 



Baeeington scarcely closed his eyes that night after he had 
parted with "Withering, so full was he of thinking ovei' all he had 
heard. " It was," as he repeated to himself over and over again, " ' such 
glorious news' to hear that it was no long-laid plot, no dark trea- 
chery, had brought poor George to his grave, and that the trusted 
friend had not turned out a secret enemy. How prone we are," 
thought he, " to sufi'er our suspicions to grow into convictions, just by 

2b2 



'J 72 BAEEINGTON. 

the rr.ere force of time. Conyers was neither better nor worse than 
scores of young fellows entering on life, undisciplined in self-restraint , 
and untutored by converse with the world ; and in his sorrow and re- 
peutaucc he is far and away above most men. It was fine of hiin tn 
cometlius, and become liis own accuser, rather than suffer a shade of 
reproach to rest upon the fame of liis friend. And this reparation he 
would liave made years ago, but for my impatience. It was I that 
would not listen — would not admit it. 

" I believe in my heart, then, tliis confession has a liigher value for 
me than would the gain of our gi-eat suit. It is such a testimony to 
my brave boy as but one man living coukl offer. It is a declaration 
to the world that says, ' Here am I, high in station, covered with 
ditrnities and rich in rewards ; vet thei'e was a man whose fate has 
never interested you ! over whose fall you never sorrowed ! hundreds of 
times my superior I' What a reward is this for all my life of toil and 
struggle — what a glorious victory when the battle looked so doubtful. 
People will see at last it is not an old man's phantasy — it is not the 
headlong affection of a father for his son has made me pursue this re- 
paration for him here. There is a witness ' come to judgment,' who 
will tell them what George Barrington was ; how noble as a man. 
how glorious as a soldier." 

"While the old man revelled in the happiness of these thoughts, 
so absorbed was he by them that he utterly forgot the immediate 
object which had occasioned his journey — forgot Stapylton and tlu> 
meeting, and all that had led to it. Thus passed the hours of the 
night, and as the day broke he arose, impatient to actual feverishness 
for the coming interview. He tried by some occupation to fill nj) 
the time. He sat down to write to his sister an account of all AVither- 
ing had told him, leaving the rest to be added after the meeting: 
but he found, as he read it over, that after the mention of George's 
name, nothing dropped from his pen bnt praises of him. It was all 
about his generosity, his open-heartedness, and his bravery. " This 
would seem downright extravagant," said he, as he crushed the papei- 
in his hand, " till she hears it from the lips of Conyers himself" 
He began another letter, but, somehow, again he glided into the seli- 
same channel. 

" This will never do," said he ; " there's nothing for it but a brisk 
walk." So saying, he sallied out into the deserted streets, for few 
were about at that early hour. Barrington turned his steps towards 
the country, and soon gained one of those shady alleys which lead 
towards Pinglas. It was a neighbourhood he had once known well, 
and a favourite resort of those pleasant fellows who thought they 



I 



]5AUlll>'GT0N. 373 

compensated for a hard iiiglit at Daly's by sipping syllabub of" a 
morning on a dewy meadow. He once had rented a little cottage 
there; a fancy of poor George's it was, that there were some trout in 
the stream beside it; and Barrington strolled along till he came to a 
little mound, from which he could see the place, sadly changed and 
diliipidated since he knew it. Instead of the rustic bridge that crossed 
tlie river, a single plank now spanned the stream, and in the disorder 
and neglect of all around, it was easy to see it had fallen to the lot of 
a peasant to live in it. As Barrington was about to turn away, he 
saw an old man — unmistakably a gentleman — ascending the hill, with 
a short telescope in his hand. As the path was a narrow one, he 
waited therefore for the other's arrival, before he began to descend 
himself. With a politeness which in his younger days Irish gentlemen 
derived from intercourse with France, Barrington touched his hat as 
he passed the stranger, and the other, as if encouraged by the show 
of courtesy, smiled as he returned the salute, and said, 

" Might I take the liberty to ask you if you are acquainted with 
this locality ?" 

" Few know it better, or, at least, knew it once," said Barring- 
ton. 

" It was the classic ground of Ireland in days past," said the 
stranger. " I have heard that Swift; lived here." 

" Yes ; but you cannot see his house from this. It was nearer to 
Santry, where you see that wood yonder. There was, however, a 
celebrity once inhabited that small cottage before us. It was the 
home of Parnell." 

" Is that Parnell's cottage ?" asked the stranger, with eagerness ; 
"that ruined spot, yonder?" 

" Yes. It was there he wrote some of his best poems. I knew 
the room well he lived in." 

" How I would like to see it!" cried the other. 

" You are an admirer of Parnell, then ?" said Barrington, with a 
smile of courteous meaning. 

•' I will own to you. Sir, it was less of Parnell I was thinking than 
of a dear friend who once talked to me of that cottage. He liad 
lived there, and cherished the memory of that life when far away 
from it; and so well had he described every walk and path around it, 
each winding of the river, and every shady nook, that I had hoped 
to recognise it without a guide." 

" Ah, it is sadly changed of late. Your friend had not probably 
seen it for some years ?" 

" Let me see. It was in a memorable year he told me he lived 



.'57 t- HARUTNGTOy. 

there — wlien some great demonstration was made by the Irisli volun- 
teers, with the Bishop of Down at tlieir head. The Bishop dined 
there on tliat day." 

" The Earl of Bristol dined that day with me, there," said Bar- 
rington, pointing to the cottage. 

"May I ask with wliom I liave the lioiiour to speak. Sir?" said the 
stranger, bowing. 

" "Was it Greorge Barrington told you tliis ?" said the old man, 
trembling with eagerness; " was it he, who lived here ? I may ask, 
Sir, for I am liis father !" 

"And I am Ormsby Con3'^ers," said the otlier ; and his face became 
pale, and his knees trembled as he said it. 

" Grive me your hand, Conycrs," cried Barrington ; " the hand that 
my dear boy lias so often pressed in friendsliip. I know all that you 
were to each other ; all that you would be to his memory." 

" Can you forgive me?" said Conyers. 

" I have, for many ii year. I forgave you when I thought you had 
been his enemy. I now know you had only been your own to sacri- 
fice such love, such affection as he bore you." 

" I never loved him more than I have hated myself for my conduct 
towards him." 

" Let us talk of George, he loved us both," said Barrington, who 
still held Conyers by the hand. " It is a theme none but yourself 
can rival me iu interest for." 

It was not easy for Conyers to attain that calm which could 
enable him to answer the other's questions ; but by degrees he grew 
to talk freely, assisted a good deal by the likeness of the old man to 
lu"s son — a resemblance iu manner even as much as look — and thus, 
before they reached town again, they had become like familiar 
friends. 

Barrington could never hear cnongh of George ; even of the inci- 
dents he had heard of by letter, he liked to listen to the details again, 
and to mark how all the traits of that dear boy had been appreciated 
by others. 

" I must keep you my prisoner," said Barrington, as they gained 
the door of his hotel. "The thirst I have is not easily slaked; re- 
member, that ibr more than thirty years I have had none to talk to me 
of ray boy ! I know all about your appointment with Withering ; he 
was to have brought you here this morning to see me, and my old 
i'riend will rejoice when he comes and finds us here together." 

" lie was certain you would come up to town," said Conyers, " when 
you got his letters. Tou would see at once that thei'e were matters 



BAKRIKGTON. 375 

which slioulJ he promptly dealt with ; and he said, * Barriugton -will 
he my guest at dinner to-morrow.' " 

" Eh ? — how ? — wliat was it all ahout? George has driven all else out 
of my head, and I declare to you I have not the very vaguest recol- 
lection of what AVithering's letters contained. Wait a moment ; a 
light is hrealcing on me. I do rememher sometliing of it all now. 
To be sure ! AVhat a head I have ! It was all about Stapylton. By 
the way, General, how you would have laughed had you heard the 
dressing "Witiiering gave me last night, when I told him I was going 
to give Stapylton a meeting." 

" A hostile meeting ?" 

" AVell, if you like to give it that new-fangled name, General, 
which I assure you was not in vogue when I was a young man. 
Withering rated me soundly for the notion, reminded me of my 
white hairs and such other disqualifications, and asked me indig- 
nantly, ' AVhat the world would say when they came to hear of it ?' 
' What would the world say if they heard I declined it, Tom ?' was 
my answer. AYould they not exclaim, ' Here is one of that lire-eating 
school who are always rebuking tis for our laxity in matters of 
honour, look at him and say, are these the principles of his sect ?' " 

Conyers shook his head disseutingly, and smiled. 

" No, no !" said Barrington, replying to the other's look, " you are 
just of my own mind ! A man who believes you to have injured him, 
claims reparation as a matter of right. I could not sny to Stapylton, 
' I will not meet you !' " 

" I did say so, and that within a fortnight." 

" You said so, and under what provocation ?" 

" He grossly insulted my son, who was his subaltern ; he outraged 
him by ofiensive language, and he dared even to impugn his personal 
courage. It was in one of those late riots where the military were 
called out ; and my boy, entrusted with the duty of dispersing an 
assemblage, stopped to remonstrate where he might have charged, and 
actually relieved the misery, he had his orders to have trampled under 
the feet of his squadron. Major Stapylton could have reprimanded, 
he might have court-martialed him ; he had no right to attempt to dis- 
honour him. My son left the service — I made him leave on tlie spot — 
and we went over to France to meet this man. I sent for Proctor to 
be my boy's friend, and my letter found him at Sir Gilbert Stapylton's, 
at Hollowclifie. To explain his hurried departure, Proctor told what 
called him away. ' And will you suffer your friend to meet that ad- 
venturer,' said Sir Gilbert, ' who stole my nephew's name if he did not 
steal more ?' To be brief, he told that this fellow had lived witii 



37G ];AjuajsuTO>'. 

Colonel Howard Stapylton, British TJcsidont at Gluirtnapore, as a sort 
of humble private secretary. ' lii the cholera that swept the district 
Howard died, and although his uili, deposited at Calcutta, contained 
several legacies, the effects to redeem them were not to he discovered. 
Meanwhile, this young fellow assumed the name of Stapylton, gave 
himself out for his heir, and even threatened to litigate some landed 
property in England witli Howard's brother. An intimation, that if 
lie dared to put his menace in action a full inquiry into his conduct 
sliould be made, stop[)ed iiim, and we heard no more of him — at least 
i'or a great many years. When an old Madras friend of Howard's came 
ilown to spend his Christmas, said, " Who do you think 1 saw in town 
last week, but that young scamp Howard used to call his Kitniagar, 
and who goes by the name of Stapylton ?" we were so indignant at 
first that we resolved on all manner of exposures ; but learning that 
he had the reputation of a good officer, and had actually distinguished 
himself at Waterloo, we relented. Since that, oilier things have 
come to our knowledge to make us repent our lenity. In fact, he is 
an adventurer in its very worst sense, and has traded upon a certain 
amount of personal courage to cover a character of downright igno- 
miny.' Proctor, on hearing all this, recalled me to England; and 
declared that he had traced enough to this man's charge to show he 
was one whom no gentleman could meet. It would appear that some 
recent discoveries had been made about him at the Horse Guards also, 
for when Proctor asked for a certain piece of information from one of 
his friends in office there, he heard, for answer, ' We hope to know 
that, and more, in a day or two.' " 

" Do you know that I'm sorry for it, heartily sorry," said Barring- 
ton. " The fellow had that stamp of manliness about him that would 
seem the pledge of a bold, straightforward nature." 

" I have a high value lor courage, but it won't do everything." 

" More's the pity, lor it renders all that it aids of tenfold more 
worth." 

" And on the back of all this discovery^ comes Hunter's letter, 
which Withering has sent you, to show that this Stapylton has for 
years back been supplying the Indian Directors with materials to 
oppose your claims." 

" Nothing ever puzzled us so much as the way every weak point of 
our case was at once seized upon, and every doubt we ourselves 
entertained, exaggerated into an impassable barrier. Withering long 
suspected that some secret enemy was at work within our own lines, 
and repeatedly said that we were sold. The difficulty is, why this man 
should once have been our enemy, and now should strive so eagerly to 



IIARIU.NOXUN. o77 

be, not alone our friend, but one of us. Tou liave heard he proposed 
for my granddaugliter r"' 

" Fred suspected his intentions in tliat quarlor, but we were not 
certain of them." 

" And it is time I should ask after your noble-hearted boy. How 
is lie, and wliere ?" 

" lie is liere, at my liotel, impatiently waiting your permission to 
go down to ' The Home.' He has a question to ask there, whose 
answer will be his destiny." 

" Has Josephine turned another head, then ?" said Barrington, 
laughing. 

" She has won a very honest heart ; as true and as honourable a 
nature as ever lived," said Conyers, with emotion. " Tour grand- 
daughter does not know, nor needs ever to know, the wrong I have 
<Iono her father; and, if you have forgiven me, you will not remem- 
ber it against my boy." 

" But what do you yourself say to all this ? Tou have never seen 
the girl ?" 

" Fred has." 

" Tou know nothing about her tastes, her temper, her bringing up." 

" Fred does." 

" Nor are you aware that the claim we have so long relied on is 
almost certain to be disallowed. I have scarcely a hope now remaining 
with regard to it." 

" I have more than I need, and if Fred will let me have a bungalow 
in his garden, I'll make it all over to him to-morrow." 

" It is then with your entire consent he would make this offer?" 

" With my whole heart in it ! I shall never feel I have repaired 
the injury I have done George Barrington till I liave called his 
daughter my own." 

Old Barrington arose, and walked up and down with slow and 
jneasured steps. At last he halted directly in front of General Con- 
yers, and said : 

" If you will do me one kindness I will agree to everything. What 
am I saying ? I agree already ; and I would not make a bargain of 
my consent ; but you will not refuse me a favour ?" 

■' Ask me anything, and I promise it on the fiiith of a gentleman." 

" It is this, then ; that you will stand by me in this affair of Sta. 
pylton's. I have gone too far for subtleties or niceties. It is no 
question of who was his father, or what was his own bringing up. I 
have told bira I should be at his orders, and don't let me break my 
word." 



li.VKKl.NaiOX. 



" If you choose me for your friend, Barringiou, you must not dic- 
tate how I am to act for you." 

" That is quite true ; you are perfectly correct there," said the 
other, in some confusion. 

" Ou that condition, then, tliat I am free to do for you wliat I 
■would agree to in my own case, I accept the cliarge." 

" And there is to be no humbug of consideration for my age and 
my white hairs; none of that nonsense about a fellow with one leg 
in the grave. Mark you, Conyers, I will stand none of these ; I have 
never taken a writ of case not to serve on a jury, nor will I hear of 
one that exempts me from the rights of a gentleman." 

" I have got your full powers to treat, and you must trust me. 
AVhere are we to find Stapylton's friend ?" 

" He gave me an address which I never looked at. Here it is !" 
and he drew a card from his pocket. 

" Captain DulT Brown, late I'ifth Fusiliers, Holt's Hotel, Charing 
Cross." 

" Do you know him ?" asked Barringtou, as the other stood silently 
re-reading the address. 

" Yes, thoroughly," said he, with a dry significance. " The man who 
selects Duff Brown to act for him in an affair of honour must be in 
a sore strait. It is a sorry endorsement to character. He had to 
leave the service from the imputation of foul play in a duel himself; 
and I took an active part against him." 

" Will this make your position unpleasant to you — would you 
rather not act for me ?" 

" Quite the reverse. It is more than ever necessary you should 
have sonie one who not only knows the men he is to deal with, but 
is known himself to tliem. It is a preliminary will save a world 
of trouble." 

'• When can we set out ?" 

" To-night, by the eight o'clock packet, we cin sail for Liver- 
pool ; but let us first of all despatch Pred to ' The Home.' The poor 
boy will be half dead with anxiety till lie knows I have your per- 
mission." 

" I'll accredit him with a letter to my sister ; not tliat he needs it, 
for he is one of lier prime favourites. And now for another point. 
AVithering must be made to believe that we are all off together for 
the country this evening. He is so op[)osed to this affair with 
Stapvlton, that he is in a mood to do anything to prevent it." 

" Well thought of; and here coniCL^ the man himself in search 
of us." 

" I linve heon half over flic town after you this mornlnir, General,'' 



I 




-'/rW'/ ('y-f-^//////'^y///,' 



i-a':tl AVithering, as he ent:erccl ; " aud your son, too, could make 
nothing of youi* absence. lie is in the carriage at the door now, not 
knowing whether he ought to come up." 

" I'll soon reassure him on that score," said Earringtou, as he left 
the room, and hastened down stairs with the step of one that defied 
the march of time. 



CHAPTER XLVII. 

31 E L T COMPANIONSHIP. 

Is a very modest chamber of a house in one of the streets which 
lead from the Strand to the Thames, two persons sat at supper. 
It is no time for lengthened introductions, and I must present Captain 
Dufi' Brown very hurriedly to my reader, as he confronted his friend 
Stapylton at table. The captain was a jovial-looking, full-whiskered, 
somewhat corpulent man, with a ready reply, a ready laugh, and a 
Ijand readier than either, whether the weapon it wielded was a billiard- 
cue or a pistol. 

The board before them Avas covered with oysters and oyster- 
shells, porter in its pewter, a square-shaped decanter of gin, and a 
bundle of cigars. The cloth was dirty, the knives tmclean, and the 
candles ill-matched and of tallow, but the guests did not seem to 
have bestowed much attention to these demerits, but ate and drank 
like men who enjoyed their fare. 

" The best country in Europe — the best in the woi'ld — I call 
England for a fellow who knows life," cried the captain. " There is 
nothing you cannot do ; nothing you cannot have in it." 

" With eight thousand a year, perhaps," said Stapylton, sarcas- 
tically. 

" No need of anything like it. Does any man want a better 
supper than we have had to-night ? "What better could he have ? 
And the wliole cost not over five, or at most six shillings for the- 
pair of us." 

"Ton may talk till you are hoarse, Duft", but I'll not stay in it. 
When once I have settled these two or three matters I have told 

you of, I'll start for 1 don't much care wliither. I'll go to Persia, 

or perhaps to the Yankees." 

"/always keep America f)r the llui:<h '." said the otlaT. " It is- 



oS'j BAUKl?roro>". 

10 the rest of tlie world what the oopper liell is to Croekford's — th«i 
last refuge wheu one walks iu broken boots and with low company. 
l>ut tell me, what have you done to-day ; where did you go after we 
parted ?" 

"I went to the Horse Guards, and saw Blauchard — pompous old 
humbug that lie is. I told him that 1 had made up my mind to sell 
out ; that I intended to take service iu a foreign army — he hates 
foreigners — and begged he would expedite my aflairs with his Hoyal 
Highness, as my arrangements could not admit of delay." 

" And he told you that there was an official routine, out of which 
no ofTicer need presume to expect his business could travel V" 

" He told me no such thing. He flatly said, ' Your case is already 
before the Conunander-in-Cliief, Major Stapylton, and you may rely 
on it there will be no needless delay in dealing with it.' " 

" That was a threat, I take it." 

" Of course it was a threat ; and I only said, ' It will be the first 
instance of tlie kind, then, in tlie department,' and left him." 

" Where to, after that ?" 

" I next went to Gregory's, the magistrate of police. I wanted 
to see the informations the black fellow swore to ; and as I knew a 
son of Gregory's in the Carbiniers, I thought I could manage it ; but 
bad luck would have it that the old fellow should have in his hands 
some unsettled bills witli my indorsements on them — fact; Gregory 
and I used to do a little that wa}' once — and he almost got a fit when 
he heard my name." 

" Tried back after tliat, eh ?" 

" Went on to Kensliavv's and won fifty pounds at hazard, took 
Blake's odds on Diadem, and booked myself for a berth in the Bou- 
logne steamer, which leaves at two tliis morning." 

'' You secured a ])assport for me, didn't you?" 

" No. You'll have to come as my servant. The Embassy fellows 
were all strangers to me, and said they would not give a separate 
passport without seeing the bearer." 

" All right. I don't dislike the second cabin, nor the ladies'-maids. 
What about the pistols ?" 

" They are yonder, under the great-coat. Renshaw lent them. 
They are not very good, he says, and one of them hangs a little in the 
fire." 

" Tliey'll be better than the old Irishman's, that's certain. You 
may swear that his tools were in use early in the last century." 

" And himself too ; that's the worst of it all. I wisli it was not a 
fej(ow that mijrht be mv irrandfather." 



UAuuiNOTON'. ;jal 

" 1 don't kno\r. I rather suspect, if 1 was f!;iven to compunctions, 
I'd have less of them for shaking down the rotten ripe fruit than the 
blossom." 

" And he's a fine old fellow, too," said Stapylton, half sadly. 

" Why didn't you tell him to drop in this evenini^ and have a little 
ecarte ?" 

Por a while Stapylton leaned his head on his hand, moodily, and 
said nothing. 

" Cheer up, man! Taste that Hollands. I never mixed better," 
said Brown. 

" I begin to regret, now, Duff, that I didn't take your advice." 

" And run away with her r" 

" Yes. It would liave been the right course, after all !" 

" I knew it. I always said it. I told you over and over again 
what would happen if you went to work in orderly fashion. They'd 
at once say, ' Who are your people — where are they — what have they r" 
Now, let a man be as inventive as Daniel Defoe himself, there will 
always slip out some flaw or other about a name, or a date — dates are 
the very devil ! But when you have once carried her oft', what can they 
do but compromise?" 

" She would never have consented." 

" I'd not have asked her. I'd have given her the benefit of 
the customs of the land she lived in, and made it a regular ab- 
duction. Paddy somebody and Terence something else are always 
ready to risk their necks for a pint of whisky and a breach of the 
laws." 

" I don't think I could have brought myself to it." 

" J could, I promise you." 

" And there's an end of a man after such a thing." 

" Yes, if he fiiils. If he's overtaken and thrashed, I grant you he 
not only loses the game, but gets the cards in his face besides. But 
why fail? Nobody fails when he wants to win — when he determines 
to win. When I shot De Courcy at Asterabad " 

" Don't bring up that affiiir, at least as one of precedent. Duff". I 
neither desire to be tried for a capital felony, nor to have committed 
one." 

" Capital fiddlesticks ! As if men did not fight duels every day of 
the week ; the difierence between guilt and innocence being, that one 
fellow's hand shook, and the other's was steady. De Courcy would 
have ' dropped' me if I'd have let him." 

" And so yow would have carried her off", Master Duif ?" said 
Stapylton, slowly. 



IjS2 BAiira^'OTOX. 

" Yes ; if slie had the pot of money you spenk of, and no Lcrd 
Chancellor for a fjuardiau. I'd have made the thing sure at once." 

" Tlie money she will and must have ; so much is certain." 

" Then I'd have made the remainder just as certain." 

"It is a vulgar crime, Uuil"; it would bo very hard to stoop 
to it." 

" Fifty things are harder — no cash, no credit, arc harder. The 
Fleet is harder. But what is that noise ? Don't you hear a knock at 
the door ? Tes, there's some one without who hasn't much pa- 
tience." So saying, he arose and walked to the door. As he opened it, 
he started back a little with surpi-ise, for it was a police constable 
stood before him. 

" Not you, Captain, not you. Sir ! it's another gentleman I want. 
I see him at the table there — Major Stapylton." By this time the man 
had entered the room and stood in front of the fire. " I have a 
warrant against you, Major," said he, quietly. " Informations have 
been sworn before Mr. Colt that you intend to fight a duel, and you 
must appear at the office to-morrow, to enter into your bond, and to 
give securities to keep the peace." 

" Who swore the informations ?" cried Brown. 

" What have we to do with that ?" said Stapylton, impatiently. 
" Isn't the world full of meddling old women ? Who wants to know 
the names ?" 

" I'll lay the odds it was old Conyers ; the greatest humbug in that 
land of humbugs — Bengal. It was he that insisted on my leaving 
the Fifth. Come, sergeant, out with it. This was Grcneral Conyers's 
doing ?" 

" I'm sorry to be obliged to declare you in custody. Major," said 
the policeman ; " but if you like to come over to Mr. Colt's private 
residence, I'm sure he'd settle the matter this evening." 

" He'll do no such thing, by George !" cried Brown. " The sneak- 
ing dogs Avho have taken this shabby course shall be exposed in open 
court. We'll have the names in full, and in every newspaper in 
England. Don't compromise the case, Stapylton; make them eat the 
mess they have cooked, to the last mouthful. AYe'll show the world 
what tlie fighting Irishman and his gallant fi-iend are made of. Major 
Stapyltou is your prisoner, sergeant!" 

The man smiled slightly at the passionate energy of the speaker, 
and turned to Stapylton. " There's no objection to your going to 
your lodgings. Major. You'll be at the chief office by ten to-morrow." 

Stapylton nodded assent, and the other retired and closed the 
door. 



liAlllilNGTOX. 3b3 

"What do you say now ?" cried Brown, triumphantly. "Didn't 
I tell you this? Didu't I say, tliat when old Conyers heard my 
name, he'd say, ' Oh ! there'll he no sqiiarhig this business?' " 

" It's just as likely that he said, ' I'll not confer with that man — 
he had to leave the service.' " 

" More fool you, then, not to have had a more respectable friend. 
Had you there, Stapylton — eh ?" 

" I acknowledge that. All I can say in extenuation is, that I hoped 
old Barrington, living so long out of the world, would have selected 
another old mummy like himself, who had never heard of Captain 
Duff Brown, nor his famous trial at Calcutta." 

" There's not a man in the kingdom has not heard of me. I'm as 
well known as the first Duke in the land." 

"Don't boast of it. Duff; even notoriety is not always a cheap 
luxury." 

" Who knows but you may divide it with me to-morrow or next 
day!" 

" What do you mean, Sir ? — what do you mean ?" cried Sta- 
pylton, slapping the tabic with his clenched hand. 

" Only what I said ; that Major Stapylton may furnish the town 
with a nine days' wonder, vice Captain Duff Brown, forgotten." 

Evidently ashamed of his wrath, Stapylton tried to laugh off the 
occasion of it, and said, " I suppose neither of us would take the 
matter much to heart." 

" I'll not go to the office with you to-morrow, Stapylton," added he, 
after a pause ; " that old Sepoy General would certainly seize the op- 
portunity to open some old scores that I'd as soon leave undis- 
turbed." 

" All right. I think you are prudent there." 

" But I'll be of use in another way. I'll lay in wait for that fellow 
who reports for the Chronicle, the only paper that cares for these 
things, and I'll have him deep in the discussion of some devilled kid- 
neys when your case is called on." 

" I fancy it does not matter what publicity it obtains." 
" Ah ! I don't know that. Old Braddell, our major, used to say, 
' Eeputation, after forty, is like an old wall. If you begin to break 
a hole in it, you never know how much will come away.' " 

" I tell you again, Duff, I'm past scandalising ; but have your way, 
if you will * muzzle the ox,' and let us get away from this as soon as 
may be. I want a little rest after this excitement." 

'■ AVell, I'm pretty much in the same boot myself, though I don't 
exactly know where to go to. Trance is dangerous. In Prussia there 



381 BAnUlNGTON. 

are two sentences recorded against me. I'm condemned to c'glit 
years' hard labour in Wurtemberg, and pronounced dead in Austria 
for my share in that Venetian disturbance." 

" Don't tell me of these rascalities. Bad enough when a man is 
driven to them, but downright infamy to be proud of." 

" Have you never thought of going into the Church ? I've a notion 
you'd be a stunning preacher." 

" Give up this bantering, Duff, and tell me how shall I get hold of 
young Conyers. I'd rather put a ball in that fellow than be a Lieute- 
nant- General. He has ever been my rock ahead. That silly coxcomb 
has done more to mar my destiny than scores of real enemies. To 
shoot him would be to throw a shell in the very midst of them." 

" I'd rather loot him, if I had the choice ; the old General has lots 
of money. Stapylton, scuttle the ship, if you like, but first let me 
land the cargo. Of all the vengeances a man can wreak on another 
the weakest is to kill him. For my part, I'd cherish the fellow that 
injured me. I'd set myself to study his tastes and learn his ambi- 
tions. I'd watch over him and follow him, being, as it were, his dearest 
of all friends — read backwards!" 

" This is tiresome scoundrelism. I'll to bed," said Stapylton, taking 
a candle from the table. 

" Well, if you must shoot this fellow, wait till he's married — wait 
for the honeymoon." 

" There's some sense in that. I'll go and sleep over it." 



liAlMMXG :ON. 385 



CHAPTER XLVIII. 



AtJNX I)ORf)TUEA. 



" Tou must come down with me for one day, Tom, to see an old aunt 
of mine at Bournemouth," said Hunter to young Dill. " I never 
omitted goinsj to see her the first thino; whenever I landed in 'En":- 
land, and she'll not forgive me if I were to do so now." 

" But why should I go. Sir ? My presence would only trouble the 
comfort of a fiimily meeting." 

" Quite the reverse. She'll be delighted to see you. It will be 
such a triumph to her, amongst all her neighbours, to have had a visit 
from the hero of the day — the fellow that all the print-shops are full 
of. Why, man, you are worth five hundred pounds to me. I'm not 
sure I might not say double as much." 

" In that case, Sir, I'm perfectly at your orders." 

And down they went, and arrived late on the day after this con- 
versation at an old-fashioned manor-house, where Miss Dorothy 
Hunter had passed some sixty odd years of her life. Though to Tom 
she seemed to bear a great resemblance to old Miss Barrington, 
there was really little likeness between them, beyond an inordinate 
pride of birth, and an intense estimation for the claims of family. 
Miss Hunter's essential characteristic was a passion for celebrities ; 
a taste somewhat difficult to cultivate in a very remote and little- 
visited locality. The result was, that she consoled herself by por- 
traits, or private letters, or autographs of her heroes, who ranged 
over every imaginable career in life, and of whom, by mere dint of 
iteration, she had grown to believe herself the intimate friend or cor- 
respondent. 

No sooner had she learned that her nephew was to be accompanied 
by the gallant young soldier whose name was in every newspaper, 
than she made what she deemed the most suitable preparations for 
his reception. Her bedroom was hung round witli portraits of naval 
heroes, or pictures of sea-fights. Grim old admirals, telescope in 
hand, or with streaming hair, shouting out orders to board the 
enemy, were on every side ; while, in the place of honour, over the 
fireplace, hung a vacant frame, destined one day to contain the hero 
of the hour, Tom Dill himself. 

2 c 



3S6 BARUIKGTOK. 

Never was a poor fellow in this world less suited to adulation of 
this sort. lie was either overwhelmed with the flattery, or oppressed 
by a terror of what some sensible spectator — if such there were — 
would think of the absurd position in which he was forced to stand. 
And when he found himself obliged to inscribe his name in a long 
column of illustrious autographs, the sight of his own scarce legible 
characters filled up the measure of his sliame. 

" He writes like the great Turenne," said Miss Dorothy ; " he 
always wrote from above downwards, so that no other name than his 
own could figure on the page." 

" I got many a thrashing for it at school, INIa'am," said Tom, apo- 
logising, "and so I gave up writing altogether," 

" Ah, yes ! the men of action soon learn to despise the pen — they 
prefer to make history rather than record it." 

It was not easy for Hunter to steer his bashful friend through all 
the shoals and quicksands of such flattery, but, on the plea of his 
broken health and strength, he hurried him early to his bed, and re- 
turned to the fireside, where his aunt awaited him. 

" He's charming, if he were only not so diffident. "Why will he 
not be more confiding — more at his ease with me — like Mungo Park, 
or Sir Sidney Smith F" 

" After a while, so he will, aunt. You'll see what a change there 
will be in him at our next visit. All these flatteries he meets with 
are too much for him ; but when we come down again, you'll see him 
without these distracting influences. Then, bear in mind his anxie- 
ties — he has not yet seen his family ; he is eager to be at home again. 
1 carried him off" here positively in spite of himself, and on the strict 
pledge of only for one day." 

" One day ! And do you mean that you are to go to-morrow ?" 

" No help for it, aunt. Tom is to be at "Windsor on Saturday. 
But for that, he would already have been on his way to Ireland." 

" Then there's no time to be lost. "What can we do for him ? 
He's not rich ?" 

" Hasn't a shilling ; but would reject the very shadow of such 
assistance." 

" Not if a step were purchased for him ; without his knowledge. I 
mean." 

" It would be impossible that he should not know it." 

" But surely there's some way of doing it. A handsome sum to 
commemorate his achievement might be subscribed. I would begin 
it with a thousand pounds." 



I}AR11I>'0T0K. 387 

" He'd not accept it. I know liitn thoroiiglily. There's only one 
road to him through wliich he would not deem a favour a burden." 

" And what is that ?" 

" A kindness to his sister. I wish you saw her, aunt !" 

" Is she like him ?" 

" Like. him? Yes; but very much better-looking. She's singularly 
liaudsome, and such a girl! so straightforward, and so downright. It 
is a positive luxury to meet her after all the tiresome conventionalities 
of the every-day young lady." 

" Shall I ask her here ?" 

" Oh, if you would, aunt ! — if you only would!" 

" That you may fall in love with her, I suppose r" 

" No, aunt, that is done already." 

" I think, Sir, I might have been apprised of this attachment :" 
said she, bridling. 

" I didn't know it myself, aunt, till I was close to the Cape. I 
thought it a mere fancy, as we dropped down Channel ; grew more 
•thoughtful over it, in the Bay of Biscay ; began to believe it, as 
we discovered St. Helena ; and came back to England resolved to 
tell you the whole truth, and ask you, at least, to see her and know 
her.'"' 

" So I will, then. I'll write aud invite her here." 

" You're the best and kindest aunt in Christendom !" said he. 
rushing over and kissing her. 

" I'm not going to let you read it. Sir," said she, v.'ith a smile. 
" If she show it to you, she may. Otherwise, it is a matter between 
ourselves." 

" Be it entirely as you wish, aunt." 

"And if all this goes hopefully on," said she, after a pause, "is 
Aunt Dorothea to be utterly forgotten ? No more visits here — no 
happy summer evenings — no more merry Christmases ?" 

" Nay, aunt, I mean to be your neighbour. That cottage you have 
often oifered me, near the rocks, I'll not refuse it again — that is, if 
you tempt me once more." 

" It is yours, and the fiirm along with it. Go to bed now, aud 
leave me to write my note, which will require some thought aud 
reflection." 

" I know you'll do it well. I know none who could equal you ia 
;such a task." 

" I'll try and acquit myself with credit," said she, as she sat down 
to the writing-desk, 

2 c2 



oSS EAERINGTON. 

" And wliat 13 all tliis about — a letter from Miss Dorothea to 
Polly," said Tom, as they drove along the road back to town. " Surely 
they never met ?" 

" Never; but my aunt intends that they shall. She writes to ask 
your sister to come on a visit here." 

" But why not have toid her the thing wao impossible ? Tou know 
lis. Tou have seen the humble way we live — how many a care it costs 
to keep up that little show of respectability that gets us sufferance 
in the world, and how one little attempt beyond this is quite out 
of our reach. Why not have told her frankly, Sir, ' These people are 
not in our station ?' " 

" Just because I acknowledge no such distinction as you want to 
draw, my good fellow. If my aunt has asked your sister to come 
three hundred miles to see her, she has thought over her request 
with more foresight than you. or I could bave given it, take my 
word for it. When she means kindly, she plans thoughtfully. And 
now I will tell you what I never meant to have spoken of, that it 
was only last night she asked me, bow could she be of use to 
you ?" 

" To me .'" said he, blushing ; " and why to me .''" 

" Can you never be brought to see tbat you are a hero, Tom — that 
all the w^orld is talking of you just now, and people feel a pride in 
being even passingly mixed up witb your name ?" 

" If they only knew how much I have to be ashamed of before I 
can begin to feel vain, they'd not be so ready with their praise or 
their flattery." 

" I'll talk over all that with your sister Polly," said Hunter, 
gaily ; for he saw the serious spirit that was gaining over the poor 
fellow. 

" Do so, Sir ; and you'll soon see, if there's anything good or 
hopeful about me, where it comes from, and who gave it." 



UAUEiKoio:!. 389 



CHAPTER XLIX. 

riiOil OENEBAL C0NXER3 TO HIS SOTT. 

BeJdwys, N. Wales. 

'M.Y DEATi Pred, — How bappy I am that you are enjoying yourself; 
short of being with you, nothing could have given me greater pleasure 
than your letter. I like your portrait of the old lady, whose eccen- 
tricities are never inconsistent with some charming traits of disposi- 
tion, and a nature eminently high-minded and honourable ; but why 
not more about Josephine ? She is surely oftener in your thoughts 
than your one brief paragraph would bespeak, and has her due share 
in making the cottage the delightful home you describe it to be. I 
entreat you to be more open and more explicit on this theme, for it 
may yet be many days before I can explore the matter for myself; 
since, instead of the brief absence I calculated on, we may, for aught 
I know, be detained bere for some weeks. 

It is clear to me, from your last, that a note of mine from Liverpool 
to you must have miscarried. Tou ask me where you are to address 
me next, and what is the nature of the business whicli has called me 
away so suddenly ? I gave you in that letter all the information that 
I was myself possessed of, and which, in three words, amounted to 
this : Old Barrington, having involved himself in a serious personal 
quarrel with Stapylton, felt, or believed, that he ought to give him a 
meeting. Seeing how useless all attempt at dissuasion proved, and 
greatly fearing what hands he might fall into, I agreed to be his 
friend on the occasion ; trusting, "besides, that by a little exorcise of 
tact and temper, extreme measures might be avoided, and the affair 
arranged. Tou may well believe, without my insisting further upon 
it, tliat I felt very painfully how we should both figure before the 
world — a man of eighty-three or four, accompanied to the ground by 
another of sixty odd ! I know well how, in the changed temper of 
the age, such acts are criticised, and acquiesce, besides, in the wiser 
spirit that now prevails. However, as I said before, if Barrington 
must go on, it were better he should do so under the guidance of a 
sincere friend than of one casually elevated to act as such, in a moment 
of emergency. 



;590 ^JAltlllNGTON. 

"We left Dublin, by the mail packet, on "Wednesday ; and after a 
rough passage of twenty-three hours, reached Liverpool too late to 
catch the evening coach. Tims detained, we only arrived here on 
Sunday night late. Jit my club, I found a note from Stapylton, 
stating that he had daily called there to learn if we had come, but the 
boisterous state of the weather sufficiently explained our delay, and 
giving an address where he might be found, as well as that of " his 
friend." Now, it so chanced that this friend was a very notorious 
person well known to me iu India, where he had been tried for an 
unfair duel, and narrowly escaped — I should say, unjustly escaped — 
being hanged. Though I had fully made up my mind not to be 
placed in any relations with such a man, I thought it would be as well 
that Barrington should know the character of liis antagonist's friend 
from other sources, and so I invited an old Bengal companion of mine 
to dine with us the day after we arrived. Stamer was a judge of the 
criminal court that tried Duff Brown, the man I speak of. As we sat 
over our wine together we got upon this case, and Stamer declared 
that it was the only criminal cause in his whole life wherein he re- 
gretted the escape of the guilty party. " The fellow," said he, " de- 
fended himself, in a three hours' speech, ably and powerfully ; but 
enunciated at times, as it were unconsciously, sentiments so abomi- 
nable and so atrocious as to destroy the sympathy a part of his dis- 
course excited. But somehow boldness has its fascination, and he 
was acquitted." 

Barrington's old-fashioned notions were not, however, to be shocked 
even by this narrative, and he whispered to me, " Unpleasant for -^ou, 
Conyers. "Wish it might have been otherwise, but it can't be helped." 
We next turned to discuss Duff Brown's friend, and Stamer exclaimed, 
" Why, that's the man they have been making all this fuss about iu 
India. He was, or he said he was, the adopted sou of Howard Sta- 
pylton ; but the family never believed the adoption, nor consented to 
receive him, and at this moment a Moonshec, who acted as Persian 
secretary to old Stapylton, has turned up with some curious disclo- 
sures, which, if true, would show that this young fellow held a very 
humble position in Stapylton's household, and never was in his confi- 
dence. This Mooushee was at Malta a few weeks ago, and may be, 
for aught I know, in England now." 

I asked and obtained Barrington's permission to tell how we were 
ourselves involved with this Major Stapylton, and be quickly declared 
that, while the man stood thus accused, there could be no thought of 
according him a satisfaction. The opinion was not the leas striugent^ 
that Stamer was himself an Irishman, and of a fighting family. 



BAKUIXaXON. ' 391 

1 am not very sure that we made Barrington a convert to our 
opinions, but we at least, as we separated for tlio night, letl him 
doubtful and hesitating. I had not been in bed above an hour, when 
Mr. Withering awoke me. He had followed us from Dublin as soon 
as he learned our departure, and, going straiglit to a magistrate, swore 
informations against both Barrington and Stapylton. " My old friend 
will never forgive me, I know," said he; " but if I liadnot done this, 
I should never have forgiven myself." It was arranged between us 
that I was to mention the fact of such informations having been 
swoi'n, without stating by whom, to Barrington, and then persuade 
him to get privately away from town before a warrant could be served. 
I leave you to imagine that my task was not without its difficulties, 
but, before tlie day broke, I succeeded in inducing him to leave, and 
travelling by post, without halt, we arrived at this quiet spot yester- 
day evening. Barrington, with all his good temper, is marvellously 
put out and irritable, saying, " This is not the way such things were 
done once ;" and peevishly muttering, " I wonder what poor Harry 
Beamish, or Guy Hutchinson, would say to it all?" One thing is 
quite clear, we had got into a wasps' nest ; Stapylton and his friend 
were both fellows that no honourable man would like to deal witli, and 
we must wait with a little patience to find some safe road out of this 
troublesome affair. 

A letter came to B. from the India House the evening before we 
left town, but he handed it to me before he finished reading it, merely 
remarking, " The old story, ' Tours of the ninth or nineteenth has duly 
been received,' &c." But I found that it contained a distinct admis- 
sion that his claim was not ill founded, and that some arrangement 
ought to be come to. 

I now close this very lengthj^ epistle, promising, however, that as 
soon as I hear from town, either from Withering or Stamer, you shall 
have my news. AVe are, of course, close prisoners here for the pre- 
sent, for though the warrant would not extend to Ireland, Barring- 
ton's apprehensions of being " served" with such a writ at all would 
induce him to hide for six months to come. 

I scarcely ask you to write to me here, not knowing our probable 
stay ; but to-morrow may, perhaps, tell us something on this head. 
Till wben, believe me, 

Tours affectionately, 

OHMSBT CONTEES. 

My most cordial greeting to Miss Barrington, and my love to her 
niece. 



;';92 BA.URINOTON. 



rr.oii peteh barkingtox to his sisxin:, mtss dixatt eabbtxcton. 

Long's Hotel, Bond-street. 
Mr DEAE Dinah, — I hardly know how to tell you whfit has hap- 
pened, or what is happening around me. I caine over here to meet 
Major Stapylton, hut find that there is no such person — the man who 
calls himself so heiug a mere adventurer, who had taken the name, 
and, I believe, no small share of the goods, of its owner, got into thie 
Bengal army, thence into our own service, and though not undistin- 
guished for gallantry, seems to have led a life of ceaseless roguer^^ and 
intrigue. He knew all about poor George's business, and was in 
correspondence with those we believed to be our friends in India, but 
who now turn, out to be our inveterate enemies. This we have got at by 
the confession of one of those Oriental fellovrs they call Moonshees, 
who has revealed all their intercourse for years back, and even shown 
a document setting forth the number of rupees he was to receive 
when Stapylton had been married to Josephine. The Mooushee is 
very ill, and his examination can only be conducted at intervals, but 
he insists on a point of much importance to us, which is, that 
Stapylton induced him to tear out of the Eajah's Koran the page on 
vrhich the adoption of George was written, and signed by the Meer 
himself. He received a large sum for this service, which, how- 
ever, he evaded by a fraud, sending over to England, not the real 
document itself, but a copy made by himself, and admirably counter, 
feited. It was the possession of this by Stapylton which enabled 
him to exercise a great control over our suit : now, averring that it 
was lost ; now, under pledge of secresy, submitting it to the inspec- 
tion of some of the Indian authorities. Stapylton, in a word, saw 
himself in a position to establish our claim, whenever the time came 
that, by making Josephine his wife, he could secure the fortune. 
This is all that we know up to this, but it is a great deal, and shows 
in what a maze of duplicity and treachery we have been in\'olved for 
more than twenty years. The chief point, however, is, that the real 
deed, written in the Mecr's Koran, and torn out of it by the 
Moonshee, in his first impulse, to forward it to Stapylton, is now 
extant, and the Koran itself is there to show the jagged margin of 
tlie torn-out leaf, and the corresponding page on the opposite side of 
the volume. Stapylton refuses to utter one word since the accusa- 
tion against him has been made, and as the cliarges extend to falsify- 
ing documents, abstraction of funds, and other derelictions in India, 
he 13 now under a heavj^ bail to appear when callctl on. 



\ 



UAUUINQTOX. 303 

Tho whole business has made me so nervous and excitable, that I 
cannot close my eyes at night, and I feel feverish and restless all 
day. It is very shocking to think of a man one has never injured, 
never heard of, animated with a spirit so inimical as to pass years of 
life in -working ill to us. He would appear to have devoted himself 
to the task of blackening poor Get)rge's character and defaming him. 
It would seem that Mr. Howard Stapylton was one of those who took 
an active part against George. "Whether this young fellow caught the 
contagion of this antipathy, or helped to feed it, I cannot tell ; but it 
is certain that all the stories of cruelty and oppression the India Board 
used to trump up to us came from this one source ; and at the end 
of all he seeks to be one of a family he has striven for years to ruin 
and to crush ! I am lost in my efforts to understand this, though 
Stamer and Withering assure me they can read the man like print. 
Indeed, they see inferences and motives in fifty things which convey 
nothing to me : and wherever I feel myself stopped by some im- 
passable barrier, to tliem it is only a bridge that conducts to a fresh 
discovery. 

The Stapyltons are all in arms now that another sportsman has 
winged the bird for them ; and each day increases the number of 
accusations against this unfortunate fellow. It is true, dear Dinah, 
that our own prospects brighten through all this. I am constantly 
receiving civil messages and hopeful assurances ; and even some of 
the Directors have called to express sympathy and good wishes. But 
how chilled is the happiness that comes dashed with the misfortune 
of another ! AVhat a terrible deal it detracts from our joy to know 
^hat every throb of pleasure to ourselves has cost a pang of misery 
elsewhere ! I wish this fellow could have gone his way, never mind- 
ing us ; or, if that couldn't be, that he'd have grown tired of perse- 
outing those who had never harmed him, and given us up ! 

Tliey are now assailing him on all sides. One, has found that he 
forged a will ; another, that he falsified a signature ; and a miserable 
creature — a native Indian, who happened to be in that INIanchester 
riot the other day — has now been ferreted out to swear that Stapj'lton 
followed him through a suburb, down a lane, and into a brick-field, 
where he cut him down and left him for dead. There seems a great 
deal of venom and acrimony in all this ; and though the man is un- 
questionably not my friend, and I see that this persecution continues, 
I find it very hard not to stand by him. 

As for "Withering, it has made the veteran ten years younger. He 
is up every morning at five, and I hear that he never goes to his 
room till long past midnight. These are the pastimes that to such 



39i BAREIXGTOX. 

ir.en replace the sports of the field and the accidents of the chase. 
They have their vacillations of hope and fear, their moments of de- 
pression and of triumph in them ; and tliey run a fellow-creature to 
earth with all the zest of a hard rider after a fox. 

Tell my darling Fifine that I am longing to he at home again — 
longing for the quiet roof, and the roses in at the window, and the 
murmur of the river, and her own sweet voice better than them all. 
And what a deal of daily happiness is in our power if we would only 
consent to enjoy it, w'ithout running after some imaginary good, 
some fancied blessing, which is to crown our wishes ! If I could but 
only have guessed at the life of anxiety, doubt, and vacillation the 
pursuit of this claim would have cost me — the twenty years of fever — 
I give you my word, Dinah, I'd rather have earned my daily bread 
with a spade, or, when too old for that, taken to fishing for a liveli- 
hood. 

But why do I complain of anything at this moment ? When have 
I been so truly happy for many a long year ? Conyers never leaves 
me — he talks of George from morning to night. And I now see 
tbat with all my aftection for that dear boy, I only half knew his 
noble nature, his fine and generous character. If you only heard of 
the benevolent things he has done ; the poor fellows he has sent home 
to their families at his own cost ; the sums he has transmitted to wive? 
and widows of soldiers in England; the children whose care and sup- 
port he has provided for! These were the real drains on that fortune 
that the world thought wasted and squandered in extravagance. And do 
you know, Dinah, there is a vein of intense egotism in my heart that 
I never so much as suspected ! I found it out by chance — it was in 
marking how far less I was touched by the highest and best traits ot 
my poor boy than by the signs of love to myself! and when 
Conyers said, " He was always talking about you ; he never did any- 
thing important without the question, 'How would "Dad" like 
this, I wonder : would " Dad" say " God speed" in this case ?' And 
his first glass of wine every day was to the health of that dear old 
father over the seas." 

To you who loved him only a little less than myself, I have no 
shame in the confession of this weakness. 1 suppose Conyers, how- 
ever, has hit upon it, for he harps on this theme continually, and, in 
sheer pride of heai't, I feel ten years younger for it. 

Here comes AVithering to say, " Some more wonderful news ;" but 
I have begged him to keep it till I have sealed this letter, which, if it 
grows any longer, I'll never have the courage to send to you. A dozen 
kisses to Fifine I can, however, transmit without any increase to tha 



BAUKINGTOX. 30d- 

postar;'?. Givo my love to young Conyers ; tell liiiii I am charmed 
wjtd bis father — I never met any one so companionable to me, and I 
only long for the day when the same roof shall cover all of us. 
Yours, my dearest Sister, ever affectionately, 

PETiiU Bahhington. 



FEOil T. AYITIIEKING, ESQ., TO MISS DIKAH BARRINOTON, " THE HOME." 

Long's Hotel, Bond-street. 

My DEAR Miss Bakeington, — If your brother has deputed me to 
•write to you, it is not that he is ill, but simply that the excitement 
caused by some late events here has so completely mastered him, that 
he can neither sit quiet a moment, nor address him steadily to any 
task. Nor am I surprised it should be so. Old, weather-beaten 
sailor on the ocean of life as I am, I feel an amount of feverishness 
and anxiety I am half ashamed of. Truth is, my dear Miss Dinah, 
we lawyers get so much habituated to certain routine rogueries, that 
we are almost shocked when we hear of a wickedness not designated 
by a statute. But I must not occupy your time with such specula- 
tions, the more, since I have only a brief space to give to that report 
of proceedings to which I want your attention. And, first of all, I 
will entreat you to forgive me for all want of sequence or connexion 
in what I may say, since events have grown so jumbled together iu 
my mind, that it is perfectly impossible for me to be certain whether 
what I relate should come before or after some other recorded fact. 
In a word, I mean to give you an outline of our discoveries, without 
showing the track of our voyage on the map, or even saying how we 
came by our knowledge. 

You are aware, Barrington tells me, how Stapyltou came by the 
name he bears. Aware that he was for some of his earlier years 
domesticated with old Howard Stapylton at Ghurtnapore, in some ca- 
pacity between confidential valet and secretary — a position that was 
at once one of subordination and trust — it would now appear that a 
Moonshee, who had long served Colonel Barrington as Persian corre- 
spondent, came into Howard Stapylton's service iu the same capacity: 
how introduced, or by whom, we know not. With this Moonshee, 
the young fellow I speak of became an intimate and close friend, and 
it is supposed obtained from him all that knowledge of your nephew's 
affairs, which enabled him to see to what his claim pretended, and what 
were its prospects of success. It is now clear enough that he only 
regarded this knowledge at first as a means of obtaining favour from 



:l9i^ BAEUINGTON. 

the Indian Government. It was, in fact, by ceding to tbem in detail 
certain documents, that he got his first commission in the Madras 
lusiliers, and afterwards his promotion in the same regiment; and, 
wlien grown more ambitious, he determined to enter the King's service, 
the money for purchase came from the same source. Being, however, 
a fellow of extravagant habits, his demands grew at last to be deemed 
excessive and importunate ; and thougli his debts liad been paid three 
several times, he was again found involving himself as before, and 
again requiring assistance. This application was, however, resisted ; 
and it was apparently on the strength of that refusal that he sud- 
denly changed his tactics, turned his attention towards us, and 
bethought him that by forwarding your granddaughter's claim — if he 
could but win her affections in the mean while — he would secure as a 
wife one of the richest heiresses in Europe. An examination of dates 
proves this, by showing that his last application to the Indian Board 
was only a few weeks before he exchanged into the regiment of 
Hussars he lately served with, and just then ordered to occupy Kil- 
kenny. In one word, when it was no longer profitable to oppose 
elosephine's claim, he determined to support it and make it his own. 
The " Company," however, fully assured that by the papers in their 
possession they could prove their own cause against Colonel Bar- 
rington, resisted all his menaces — when, what does he do ? It was what 
only a very daring and recldess fellow would ever have thought of — 
one of those insolent feats of boldness that succeed by the very shock 
they create. He goes to the Secret Committee at the India House 
and says : " Of tlie eighteen documents I have given you, seven are 
false. I will not tell you which they are, but if you do not speedily 
compromise this claim and make a satisfactory settlement on Colonel 
Barrington's daughter, I'll denounce you, at all the peril it maybe to 
myself." At first they agree, then they hesitate, then they treat again, 
and so does the aff"air proceed, till suddenly — no one can guess why 
— they assume a tone of open defiance, and flatly declare they will 
hold no further intercourse with him, and even threaten with expo- 
sure any demand on his part. 

This rejection of him came at a critical moment. It was just when 
Ihe Press had begun to comment on the cruelty of his conduct at 
Peterloo, and when a sort of cry was got up through tlie country to 
liave him dismissed from the service. We all saw, but never sus- 
pected why he was so terribly cut up at this time. It was hard to 
believe that he could have taken mere newspaper censure so much to 
heart. We never guessed the real cause, never saw that he was 
driven to his last expedient, and obliged to prejudice all his hope of 



BARRINQTON'. 307 

auccess by precipitancy. If lie could not make Josephine liia wifo 
at once, on the very moment, all was lost. He made a bold eftbrt at 
this. AVho knows if be might not have succeeded but for you, as 
Josephine was very young, my old friend himself utterly unlit to 
cope with anything but open hostility ? I say again, I'd not have 
answered for the result if you had not been in command of the fortress. 
xVt all events, he failed ; and in the failure lost his temper so far as 
to force a quarrel upon your brother. He failed, however ; and no 
sooner was he down, than the whole Avorld was atop of him : cre- 
ditors, Jews, bill-discounters, and, last of all,- the Stapyltons, who, so 
long as he bore their family name thousands of miles off, or asso- 
ciated it with deeds of gallantry, said nothing ; now, that they saw it 
held up to attack and insult, came forward to declare that he never 
belonged to them, and at length appealed formerly to the Horse 
Guards, to learn under what designation he had entered the service, 
and at what period taken the name he went by. 

Stapylton's application for leave to sell out had just been sent in ; 
and once more the newspapers set up the cry that this man should 
not be permitted to carry away to Aix and Baden the proceeds of a 
sale which belonged to his " creditors." Ton know the world, and I 
need not tell you all the pleasant things it told this fellow, for men 
are pretty nigh as pitiless as crows to their wounded. I thought the 
complication had reached its limit, when I learned yesterday evening 
that Stapylton had been summoned before ^ police magistrate for a 
case of assault committed by him when in command of his regiment 
at Manchester. The case had evidently been got up by a political 
party, who, seeing the casual unpopularity of the man, determined to 
profit by it. The celebrated radical barrister, Hesketh, was engaged 
for the plaintiff. 

When I arrived at the court, it was so full that it was with 
diflBculty I got a passage to a seat behind the bench. There were 
crowds of fashionables present, the w'ell-known men about town, and 
the idlers of the clubs, and a large sprinkling of military men, for the 
news of the case had got wind already. 

Stapylton, dressed in black, and looking pale and worn, but still 
dignified and like a gentleman, had not a single friend with him. I 
own to you, I felt ashamed to be there, and was right glad when he 
did not recognise me. 

Though the case opened by a declaration that this was no common 
assault case, wherein in a moment of passion a man bad been be- 
trayed into an excess, I knew the cant of my craft too well to lay any 
stress on such assertion, and received it as the ordinary exordium. 



305 BAUBIXGTOy. 

As I listened, liowcver, I was struck by licariug that the injured man 
was asserted to be one well known to Stapyltou, with whom he had 
been for years in intimacy, and that tlie assault was in reality a deli- 
berate attempt to kill, and not, as had been repi*esentod, a mere pass- 
ing act of savage severity, committed in hot blood. " My client," 
said lie, " will be brought before you ; he is a Hindoo, but so long a 
resident of this country, that he speaks our language fluently. You 
shall hear his story yourself, and yourselves decide on its truthfulness. 
His wounds are, however, of so serious a nature, that it will be advis- 
able his statement should be a brief one." As he said this, a dark-com- 
plexioned fellow, with a look half-frighteucd, half-dehant, was carried 
forwards in a chaii*, and deposited, as he sat, on the table. He gave his 
name as Lai Adeen, his age as forty-eight, his birthplace Majamarha, 
near Agra. He came to this country twelve years ago, as servant to 
an officer who had died on the passage, and after many hardships iu 
his endeavour to earn a livelihood, obtained employment at Man- 
chester in the mill of Brandling and Bennett, where he was employed 
to sweep the corridors and the stairs ; his wages were nine shillings a 
week. All this, and much more of the same kind, he told simply 
and collectedly. I tried to see Stapylton while this was going on, 
but a pillar of the gallery, against which he leaned, concealed him from 
my view. 

I omit a great deal, not without its interest, but reserving it for 
another time, and come to his account of the night on which he was 
wounded. He said, that as the cavalry marched on that morning 
into Manchester, he was struck by seeing at the head of the regi- 
ment one he had never set his eyes on for years, but whose features 
he knew too well to be deceived in. 

" I tried to get near him, that he might recognise me," said he, 
" but the crowd kept me back, and I could not. I thought, indeed, at 
one moment he had seen me, and knew me, but, as he turned his head 
away, I supposed I was mistaken. 

" It was on the following evening, when the riot broke out in ]\rill- 
street, that I saw him next. I was standing at the door of a chemist's 
shop when the cavalry rode by at a walk. There was a small body of 
them in front, at about forty or fifty paces, and who, finding a sort of 
barricade across the street, returned to the main body, where they 
seemed to be reporting this. A cry arose that the troops had been 
blocked up at the rear, and at the same instant a shower of stones 
came from the side-streets and the house-tops. Thinking to do him a 
service, I made my way towards him I knew, in order to tell him by 
what way he could make his escape ; and, jostled and pushed, and half- 
ridden down, 1 hiid my hand on his Iiorsc's t^houkler to keep myself 



IJAKUiMiTOX. 809 

from falling. 'Stand back, you scoundrel!' said lie, striking me 
\vith the hilt of his sword in the fixce. ' Dou't you know me, 
master ?' cried I, in terror. He bent down in his saddle till 
his face Avas almost close to mine, and then, reining his horse 
back to give him room for a blow, he aimed a desperate cut at 
me. I saw it coming, and threw myself down, but I rose the next 
instant and ran. The street was already so clear by this time, I got 
into Cleever's-alley, down Grange-street, up the lane that leads to the 
brick-fields, and at last into the fields themselves. I was just thinking 
I was safe, when I saw a horseman behind me ; he saw me, and dashed 
at me. I fell upon my knees to ask mercy, and he gave me this;" 
and he pointed to the bandages which covered his forehead, stained 
;is they were with clotted blood. " I fell on my face, and he tried to 
make his horse trample on me, but the beast would not, and he only 
touched me with his hoof as he sprang across me. He at last dis- 
mounted to see, perhaps, if I were dead, but a shout from some of 
the rioters warned him to mount again, and he rode away, and I 
lay there till morning. It is not true that I w^as in prison and 
escaped — that I was taken to the hospital, and ran away from it. I 
was sheltered in one of the clay-huts of the brickmakers for several 
weeks, afraid to come abroad, for I knew that the Sahib was a great 
man and could take my life. It was only by the persuasions of 
others that I left my hiding-place, and have come here to tell my 
story." 

On being questioned why this officer could possibly desire to 
injure him ? what grudge one in such a station could bear him ? 
he owned he could not say ; they had never been enemies, and, in- 
deed, it was in the hope of a friendly recognition and assistance 
that he approached him in Mill-street. 

Stapylton's defence was very brief, given in an off-hand, frank 
manner, which disposed many in his favour. He believed the fellow 
meant to attack him ; he certainly caught hold of his bridle. It was 
not his intention to give him more than a passing blow ; but the 
utterance of a Hindoo curse — an expression of gross outrage in the 
East — recalled prejudices long dormant, and he gave the rascal chase, 
-aud cut him over the head — not a severe cut — aud totally unaccom- 
panied by the other details narrated. 

" As for our former acquaintance, I deny it altogether. I have seen 
thousands of his countrymen, and may have seen him ; but, I repeat, 
I never knew him, nor can he presume to say he knew me !" 

The Hindoo smiled a faint, sickly smile, made a gesture of deep 
humility, and asked if he might put a few questions to the " Sahib." 
" Were you in Xaghapoor in the year of the floods r" 



400 BAKUINQTOX. 

" Yes," said Stapylton, firmly, but evidently with au effort to 
appear calm. 

" In the service of the great Sahib, Howard Stapylton ?" 

" In his service? Certanily not. I lived with him as his friend, 
and became his adopted heir." 

" AVhat office did you fdl when you came first to tlie ' Ecsi- 
dence r' " 

" I assisted my friend in the duties of liis government ; I was a good 
Oriental scholar, and could write and speak a dialect he knew nothing 
of. But I submit to the court that this examination, prompted and 
suborned by others, has no other object tlian to insult me, by lead- 
ing to disclosures of matters essentially private in their nature." 

" Let me ask but one question," said the Barrister. " What name 
did you bear before you took that of Stapylton ?" 

" I refuse to submit to this insolence," said Stapylton, rising angrily. 
" If the laws of the country only can lend themselves to assist the 
persecutions of a rascally Press, the sooner a man of honour seeks 
another laud the better. Adjudicate on this case, Sirs; I will not 
stoop to bandy words with these men." 

" I now, Sir," said Hesketh, opening his bag and taking out a roll 
of papers, " am here to demand a committal for forgery against th